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Blood Myths

There are many common excuses for not giving blood, and also many misconceptions about eligibility requirements. Here are a few myths dispelled:

I'm nervous about giving blood.

Most first-time donors are! However, after donating most also wonder why they were ever nervous. Once you see how simple it is and know the value of what you have given, you will probably want to give again.

Giving blood is inconvenient.

From the time you sign in, the whole donation process takes under an hour. Your actual donation time will be less than ten minutes. With donor centers located throughout the Southern Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast area, and blood drives held nearly every day of the year, our highly-trained staff works hard to make the process as convenient as possible for you.

I might get a disease from donating blood.

All of our equipment is brand new, state-of-the-art, disposable and used only one time. The only thing you can get from donating blood is the good feeling knowing you've helped others.

They don't really need my type.

Every type is the right type. All types, including common ones like O-positive and A-positive, are needed by patients all the time. The only wrong type is the type we do not have.

I'm too young or too old.

You can donate blood as long as you are at least 16 years old. And you are never too old as long as you are healthy. There is absolutely no upper age limit on donating blood.

Other people must be giving enough blood.

Actually, less than 5% of the eligible population actually donates blood. Yet the demand for blood and blood components is constant. The needs of patients can only be met by people like you.

I heard that I can’t donate blood because…

…I have diabetes.
As long as your diabetes is under control and stable, you can donate!

…I just got my ears pierced.
If your ears were pierced with a sterile, single-use kit, there is no wait!

…I have a heart condition.
As long as you are not on any heart medication (other than aspirin) and there is no underlying damage, you can donate!

…I am taking medications for mitral valve prolapse.
You may donate, as long as your doctor has not put any restrictions on your activity.

…I take medication for high blood pressure.
You may donate as long as your blood pressure is controlled and stable.

…I had a stroke.
As long as it has been a year since your stroke, are not on any medications for it and you have no activity restrictions, you can donate!

…I just got a tattoo.
As long as your tattoo was done at a licensed shop in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama or Mississippi, you only have to wait one month!

…...I was previously deferred from donating because I lived in Europe or UK in the 1980's.
The FDA recently made changes to this policy. Please refer to our updated list of vCJD risk countries.