The fear of needles shouldn’t stop you from giving blood


Kernel Opinion SIG

Matt Hasty

An extreme fear of medical procedures involving needles is classified as trypanophobia, according to Healthline.

It’s important to understand trypanophobia because there’s a blood drive on UK’s campus this week.

Some are reluctant to donate blood because of their fear of needles. I’m here to share a personal story about how I overcame my fear of needles that allowed me to help people by donating my blood.

When I was a child, I had to go to the doctor to have my blood drawn for different reasons. Every time I would get my blood drawn, I dreaded having my arm poked by a huge needle. When I would have my blood drawn, I would always tell the nurse to use the “butterfly needle.” The “butterfly needle” is a small needle (like the size of a thread needle) that hooked up to the syringe that was collecting my blood.

I used the “butterfly needle” until I reached high school. Kentucky Blood Center came to my high school during my sophomore year, and I decided that I wanted to donate blood.

I went to the blood drive, and I went through the preliminary procedures Kentucky Blood Center does before they take your blood, like checking your blood pressure, checking your iron levels, checking your temperature and so on.

I went to the chairs to give blood. I sat down and I got comfortable. The nurse then prepped the needle and the collection bag. I looked down at the needle and started to get scared. The nurse noticed this and told me to look away– so I did.

Initially, it hurt when it went into my arm, but once the needle was there, it didn’t hurt as much. I sat there for about half an hour while my blood ran from my arm into the collection bag. After the bag became full, the nurse pulled out the needle quickly and told me to hold up my arm with a gauze to the injection site. She wrapped it with a bandage and told me to take it easy for a few hours and checked to see if I became dizzy.

The whole experience was much less scary than I expected, and I decided that I wanted to donate blood again.

Since then, I have donated blood numerous times. My blood type is Type O-, which is a universal blood type, meaning my blood can help anyone, no matter what blood type someone else is. Because I know my blood is needed the most, I try to donate when I can.

Donating blood is one of the ways I can make the world a better place to live in. I like to help people and donating blood is one way I can do that. 

Don’t be afraid of needles because the pain you temporarily feel is nothing compared to the impact you are making in this world. I challenge you to make the world a better place than you found it and giving blood can do just that.