By Nick Starling firstname.lastname@example.org
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Donating blood is something a lot of people put off or are just completely afraid of. So what are some common misconceptions?
"Sometimes people think, 'Oh, they don't want my blood or there's always someone else that will give' things like that. They think 'I'm too old' or 'Oh gosh, it's going to hurt too much.' I think a lot of times people talk themselves out of giving when in actuality we encourage you to try and find out if you can give and to overcome your fears," said April Oppliger from the American Red Cross.
Some people say they are too old. In fact, there is no age limit.
"As long as you're healthy, you're feeling healthy, you don't have any physical limitations that would prohibit you from donating blood, we encourage you to come. We have a lot of older donors who are some of our most faithful longtime donors," said Oppliger.
What about if you're sporting a new tattoo? Are you ineligible? No, you still can donate.
"If you've had your tattoo or your piercing done in a state licenced facility with a fresh needle, you're able to give. There's no exclusion or deferral period for that," said Oppliger.
Some people also think they may get a disease from donating but that's not the case. Every needle is sterile.
"We use a sterile needle each time we collect a person's blood. We want the blood donation experience to be as safe as possible. It's a fresh needle, our staff are well trained. You can't get a disease from donating blood," said Oppliger.