"I am too old to donate."
There is no upper age limit as long as you are healthy.
"I take medications so I can't donate."
Very few medications will prohibit a person from donating. For example, blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol medications are all OK.
"My blood type is common so it's not in need as much as the rarer types."
False. O positive and A positive are the two most common blood types. We constantly need these types.
"It's painful to donate."
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula's Blood Center offers lidocaine to numb a small area so the needle insertion is not felt. It makes for a very comfortable blood donation experience.
"I might contract a disease if I donate blood."
You can't contract diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis, by donating blood. Strict sterile procedures are mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and practiced by the Blood Center.
"I may not feel well after I donate."
Most donors feel well and healthy after donating. Donors may resume normal activities after donating but should avoid strenuous activities for 24 hours.
"I can't donate because I have high blood pressure, (or diabetes or high cholesterol....)"
People can donate with conditions such as these as long as they are controlled.
"If I donate blood, will I get a 'credit' in case I should ever need blood?"
No, there is no quid pro quo for blood donations. All blood donations are completely voluntary, without any kind of reimbursement or credit. The more people who donate, the more likely blood will be available if you need it.