Don’t let these misconceptions about blood donation stop you from giving this life-saving gift.

Every two seconds in the U.S. someone requires a blood transfusion. There is always a need for blood and platelets. That’s why donating blood can make a big difference in the lives of others.

Many people don’t give blood because they’re misinformed about the risks involved in donating or don’t realize they’re eligible to donate. In fact, less than 10% of people who can donate blood actually do so, according to the American Red Cross.

Take this quiz to separate fact from fiction about blood donation.

1. It takes your body a long time to replace the blood that you donate.
True

Please try again.

False

The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in their body. Only one pint is collected during blood donation and your body quickly replaces what is lost. If you drink enough fluids, blood volume returns within a few hours. The plasma is replaced in about 24 hours and red cells are completely replaced in 4-6 weeks.

2. You can donate blood every month as long as you’re in good health.
True

Please try again.

False

You are eligible to donate whole blood every 8 weeks (56 days).

3. If you have Type O negative blood, your blood is especially needed.
True

Type O negative is the universal donor blood type because it can be given to people with any blood type. There’s always a need for this type of blood because it’s what medical personnel use in emergency situations when there’s no time to determine the blood type of the patient.

False

Please try again.

4. You have to be over age 21 to donate blood.
True

Please try again.

False

Many states require donors to be at least 17 years old. Some states allow 16 years old to donate with parental consent. You must also weigh at least 110 pounds.

5. You are at risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis or other infections when you give blood.
True

Please try again.

False

Donating blood is safe. A new sterile needle and bag is used each time someone donates blood. Strict procedures and the use of sterile equipment make it highly unlikely you’ll develop an infection of any kind during blood donation.

Find a Blood Drive Near You
Visit the Red Cross Online
– or –
Call 1-800­-733-2767

Find a Blood Drive Near You
Visit the Red Cross Online
– or –
Call 1-800­-733-2767

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Date Last Reviewed: November 13, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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