Nervous for later today…

Or: Tips on Donating Blood.

Hello, 

Later today (it is currently 2:07 AM), I am donating blood for the first time. It has been on my bucket LEAF list and I have wanted to do it. I’ve never done so before, obviously, and I find myself nervous. So, I got online and looked up some tips and research. Another fancy thing is you can find out your blood type too!

Eligibility etc:

Who can give blood? Here is a list of factors.

If you are anemic can you give blood? Here’s your answer (according to NHS Choices) and on this link explains a bit more about the process, helpfully; but also be aware increasingly centres are turning away anemic’s or people who would become so from donating (source: Google – automated answers).

If you have decided it is safe for you to donate(If you have decided it is safe for you to donate(both ways; for yourself and the patient/s):

Before Donating: 

  • Drink an extra 16oz of water or non-alcoholic fluids before the donation
  • Try and get a good nights sleep
  • Longer term: try to make sure (if you’re not already) to eat iron rich foods – red veggies like beetroot, red cabbage, cranberry juice, pomegranates, red meats, fish, chicken, beans, leafy greens like spinach and iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
  • Eat a good meal before your donation

During Your Donation

  • Be practical – wear clothing that allows access to your elbows.
  • Communicate- let them know if you have a preferred arm.

Personally, I do not like having blood taken from my arm; so I will ask if they could do so from my hands. Will get back to you on that. 

  • Be prepared
  • …to Relax- If this means bring headphones and music, a book, your phone, talking to other donors, feel free.
  • Recieve- There should be a refreshments area, so enjoy a snack and drink immediately after- will help you.
  • And just prepared: (I’m not sure where this only applies; will amend later if it’s not applicable to the UK) bring your donor card, driver’s licence, and two other forms of ID.

Aftercare

[Copied from RedCrossBlood dot org]

  • “Drink an extra four (8 ounce) glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol over the next 24 hours.
  • Remove the wrap bandage (if you had one put on your arm) within the next hour.
  • Keep the strip bandage on for the next several hours.
  • To avoid a skin rash, clean the area around the strip bandage with soap and water.
  • Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day.
  • If the needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure to it and raise your arm straight up for about 5-10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
  • If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness after donation, stop what you are doing and sit down or lie down until you feel better. Avoid performing any activity where fainting may lead to injury for at least 24 hours.”

There is a cool video (at least for the UK- sorry, not assuming it’s the same process/procedure anywhere else) on the Journey of the donation.

Sources:

NHS Blood and Transplant

American Red Cross

 

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