What Are the Side Effects of Donating Blood?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 07/01/2022

Donating blood can save lives. We all know that. But many people are apprehensive of donating blood as most of them aren’t aware of its effect on their bodies. Blood donors, however, usually have positive benefits. But, unfortunately, some people may experience a few side effects as well, like light-headedness or minor bruising.

While most donors do not experience any harmful side effects due to blood donation, some show certain symptoms. Nausea, dizziness, and in some cases, fainting are a few common side effects of blood donation. If you are thinking about donating blood and unaware of how it may affect your body, we’ve got you covered. Read this article to understand how blood donation may (or may not) affect you.

But first, let’s talk about the benefits of blood donation.

Why Should You Donate Blood? A Few Benefits!

Blood donation is considered a noble and necessary act. Why so? Because donating blood can have a very positive effect on your body, and it can save many lives. So, here are a few benefits of blood donation that you must know before donating blood –

  • Donating blood can be calming for the mind and can drastically reduce stress.
  • The fact that you will save someone’s life can make you emotionally happy, thereby improving your emotional wellbeing.
  • Donating blood can provide you with a sense of belonging and reduce the thoughts of isolation or loneliness in your mind.
  • Blood donation can make you energetic (although not instantly but after a while).

The Process of Blood Donation

If you are willing to donate blood, you will have to undergo a medical screening. A nurse or a trained staff in the hospital will perform a few tests to ensure that you donate blood. The tests include –

  • Pulse check through an oximeter
  • Blood pressure check a BP machine
  • Body temperature check with a thermometer
  • Haemoglobin level check through a blood test

These tests can also provide you with an excellent insight into your body. If you haven’t considered doing a thorough checkup of your body in the recent past, you’ll be able to learn more about your health through these tests. In addition, you will be able to detect any problem that may have been underlying all this while and safeguard yourself on time through medications and treatment if any. Apart from the above-listed tests, you will also have to go through a series of blood tests to learn about a few more diseases like –

  • heptitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Any virus
  • syphilis

Once your reports come out all normal, you can donate your blood.

A Few Side Effects of Blood Donation

Blood donation is usually safe for healthy adults. There are no risks involved, such as contracting any disease as for every donor, a new, sterile syringe is used. However, some people may feel lightheaded, nauseous, or dizzy after donating blood. But it will only stay for a few minutes. So, after donating blood, you will need to lie down until you feel better.

You may also experience a little bleeding from the site of the needle. Applying pressure on the wound or raising your arm for a couple of minutes will stop the same. You may develop a bruise on the site. However, it’s nothing serious.

Frequently Asked Questions on Blood Donation

You might still have a few queries in mind related to blood donation. To answer those, here are a few commonly asked questions by people like you who have never donated blood before. Let’s go through them at once.

-How much blood can you donate?

Usually, you can donate one unit of blood, which is around 350 ml. If you can pass the health tests and are deemed fit for donation, you can donate this much blood at one go. A healthy adult normally has 5 – 6 litres of blood in their body. So, donating 350 ml is safe.

-How long does it take to recover from giving blood?

A few hours. After donating blood, you will be asked to lie down till you feel alright. You will also be given juices and fruits to have. Usually, it takes around 2 hours to get back to normal after donating blood.

-Does donating blood weaken your immune system?

Giving blood reduces the red blood cells in the body. This may lead to a temporary dip in certain immune cells like the circulating serum protein and antibodies. But the human body can produce these antibodies if needed. So, your body will produce them quickly, and the blood will return to a normal state within just a few weeks.

-Is blood donation harmful to the body?

Blood donation is a completely healthy process as long as you are a healthy adult. The human body can refill the blood donated in around 4 to 8 weeks. Also, the blood plasma can get replenished within just 48 hours. Donating blood can also help your body clear the harmful iron deposits, which helps prevent any cardiovascular ailments. With blood restocking by itself, the pancreas and liver stay healthy too.

-Why shouldn’t you donate blood?

If you have a low blood count or low blood pressure, you should refrain from donating blood. Also, if you are suffering from a viral infection or have a common cough and cold, you should not donate blood. This is because the virus may be transferred to the recipient of the blood. Also, if you have recently been treated with any antibiotics, you should not donate blood.

Furthermore, if you are underweight or have a poor immune system, you should not donate blood as the side effects of nausea or light-headedness would be high. Finally, if you recently had a body piercing or did a tattoo, you should not donate blood as the risk of transmitting hepatitis infection will be high.


Blood donation is a noble cause. And if you think you are healthy enough to donate, you should go ahead and save a few lives. Also, you should definitely apply for health insurance. Having medical insurance online before the donation is important as in case you are diagnosed with any illness during the tests, your treatment will be covered by the same.

While searching for Mediclaim insurance, do not forget to calculate your probable premium payments through a health insurance premium calculator online. This will help you understand how much money you’ll have to pay as premiums to get your chosen health insurance benefits.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

Related Articles

Tata AIG Also Offers Insurance for the below products

Health Insurance

Two Wheeler Insurance

Car Insurance

Travel Insurance