Tips For Donating Blood?

United States
August 10, 2011 11:15am CST
I've donated blood once before at a school-sponsored blood drive. On the signup form, we had to provide a phone number. Well, I got a call from my local blood center today asking if I wanted to donate blood. The answer was yes. Both my grandfather and one of my classmates at my high school have recently been diagnosed with luekemia and are currently undergoing treatment that I know includes blood transfusions. I want to help them out and give back. Problem is, the last time (my first time) I donated blood, things did not go so well. I ate a balanced breakfast and a snack again before donating. I was perfectly fine while they were drawing my blood, but after they finished and gave me the little cookie and juice, I ate the cookie and then lost it from my stomach within a minute. I was lightheaded and tired the rest of the day. Luckily, as I had already finished donating, they were still able to use my blood. I really want to donate again, for my grandpa and my classmate, and I've heard that eating certain things or following certain health procedures can make donating easier. My question is this: what advice, if any, do you have for someone wanting to donate blood? What foods do you eat beforehand? Things you do? Thanks for the help!
8 responses
• United States
11 Aug 11
I only was able to give blood once. That was in high school. I am anemic and so my blood count isn't high enough. It is barely high enough to keep me from needing a transfusion myself :( I have to see a hematologist and get iron through an IV. When I did give blood the one time, they gave us donuts and had us sit and eat them and rest a few minutes after giving the blood.
• China
11 Aug 11
I had been thinking that it is better to be limosis before donating blood. No wonder that i fell in a faint after i donated 200ml blood when i was in college age. now i realize that it is dangerous that i didn't feed myself before the blood going out of my body.
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
18 Aug 11
It's most likely fluid levels. Drink water before and the juice after. Most people are chronically dehydrated. Being dehydrated makes you tiered and dizzy.
@Rosa26 (2620)
• United States
11 Aug 11
Hello my friend lotter congratulations for be a person with as good heart and feelings, I will plama in this week, plasma is a yellow liquids that is taken to the blood, my husband donate plasma too, two days in the week. What my huband does is, he drink a lot of water before to go and eat breakfast, after donating plasma he can't make any physic activity, he has to and never smoke after the donation. He donated two days ago and when he got home was very weak and felt asleep. I am telling him that he has to take vitamins from now on, because I am seeing his body reaction. Well I think that you follow the advises and take vitamins you will be ok. Ah I almost forget to tell you, after donating, never eat food with fat or oil because you won't feel in stomach if you do.
• India
11 Aug 11
thanks for the information till now i never donated blood anytime but now m sure that in coming couple of months i will surely go to any nearest blood bank and donate there
• Philippines
11 Aug 11
Wow, you're the same as my girlfriend. She's very passionate about blood donation drives! She's always updated on the nearest possible blood drive in her area, and should there be one, she makes sure that she'd be able to donate. I haven't donated lately myself, but to answer your question, you do know that you should have a good 8 hours of sleep the night before the donation, right? For the post-donation activities, well you shouldn't move much for the next five to ten minutes, just to make sure that you'll be fine afterwards. As much as possible too, avoid doing strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Your body will have to adjust to the blood loss, and thus you should allow your body to replenish your blood supply. I'm not saying that you should get yourself bed-ridden, you could still do your daily activities, but stay away from the hardcore ones. As for the food intake, one thing I know is that juice and sandwich right after the donation. I think after that you could eat your usual meals.
@jricky1 (6809)
• China
11 Aug 11
For donating blood,i think the first thing to do is drinking some milk and eat eggs.For there are some nutrious things in it and our body needs that,after donating our body would be weak.So,just eat something to make yourself recover.
• Philippines
10 Aug 11
Get enough rest the night before donating blood. Have a full meal during the morning and drink ample amounts of water. I suggest you eat a diet full of liquid after like stew or soup after. I like beef rib soup after donating blood. You should replenish what was taken, I'm sure you can handle the next donation. Donating blood is an honorable and heroic act. Be proud of yourself.
@vegegirl (828)
• Australia
10 Aug 11
Hi. I've given blood, I'm a vegetarian and hate needles, but like you I had seen my dad have blood transfusions and read this really amazing true story by Bryce Courtney called "April Fool's Day". I tried to eat more iron the night and a few days before like red beans, or lentils with green veggies and some vitamin c to help my iron be absorbed. Also drinking water is important. I gave blood with work and we had a barbecue afterwards so I had some veggie sausages in bread later. And orange juice, while still in the blood van. Come to think of it, I did feel a little tired for a few days, but I think some of that could be expected. I live in Australia and we have to have our blood tested before giving blood, to make sure we have enough iron and they only take blood from people who have safe enough levels, do they do that where you live? On the Australian redcross site it says that drinking lots of water afterwards will help your body recover faster, it also says not to so strenuous activity or exercise for 12 hours after giving blood. They also advise: Drink water the day before. Drink 3 glasses of water/juice for the 3 hours before donating blood. Make sure you have a meal before going to give blood (which you did).