Mayo Clinic: 6 Fears that Stop People from Donating Blood

Updated: 09/10/2013 5:49 PM By: Leslie Dyste

As few as 3 percent of Americans who are eligible to donate blood- actually do. Mayo Clinic experts are working to change that by pointing out six blood donation phobias.

The phobias include:

Experts say you should think of it as a flu shot. You'll feel a little prick but nothing more.

Mayo Clinic says donors are screened to make sure they are healthy enough to give blood and disposable needles are used to prevent the spread of disease. According to Dr. Manish Gandhi with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center, "In most cases, a healthy person — donating blood would probably do them good, because basically you are going to replenish new blood."

To prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis or other illnesses, fresh disposable needles and blood donation sets are used. "So there's no way you're going to get a virus transmitted by blood, because you are not going to come into contact with someone else's blood," he says.

Gandhi says most blood banks tend to respect donors' privacy and how frequently they like to be called. He recommends eating a full meal and staying hydrated before donating blood to prevent nausea.