Tips For A Successful Donation
The information below will prepare you for a great donation experience, from start to finish.
Before you donate…
- Get a full nights sleep.
- Eat a full meal within 6 hours prior to your appointment. Consider making iron-rich foods part of your daily diet.
- Make sure you are well-hydrated. Drink 16 ounces or more just prior to donating and plenty of fluids for the rest of the day.
- Be sure you are symptom-free from a cold or flu for at least 72 hours.
- Review the latest donor eligibility requirements.
- Complete your health history questionnaire online using iDonate on the day of your donation.
- Bring your Donor ID card or another form of identification.
After you donate…
- Please spend at least 15 minutes in the café area.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity and heavy lifting for the rest of the day.
- If you have any questions, contact Donor Suitability at 1-888-235-3301, or our main number at 1-888-GIVE-BLD .
All eligible blood donors are encouraged to donate:
- Whole blood every 3 months
- Double red cells every 6 months
- Platelets every 7 days
- Plasma every 28 days
People who donate two or more times per year should consider taking an over-the-counter iron supplement.
If you decide to donate more frequently than our recommended guidelines, Memorial Blood Centers highly recommends that you talk to your doctor about checking your iron and about taking an iron supplement.
How To Make Giving Blood Easier
Whether its a fear of needles or first-time donor jitters, these blood donation tips can help make your donation a success.
RapidPass® can help save time during your next blood or platelet donation. After you sign up for your appointment, on the day of donation, visit our RapidPass page or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App to complete the simple process. Get started with some initial information, read through the pre-donation materials, answer your health history questions and print, download or email your RapidPass® to yourself. Be sure to bring it with you to your donation appointment.
To Be Eligible To Donatewhole Blood Plasma Or Platelets You Must Be:
- Ingood general health at the time of donation.
- Atleast 17 years old . Legal minors are allowed to donatewith parent permission in some states. Policies may vary between donor centers.
- Atleast 110 pounds for whole blood donation. There may be additional requirementsfor donating other components.
- Ableto pass the physical and health history assessment. Some disqualifiers thatmight arise during these exams include having:
- A piercingor tattoo that is less than 12 months old.
- Hemoglobin levels under 12.5g/Lfor women or 13.5g/L for men.
- A current cold, flu, or fever.
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Advice From One Donor Who Has Given Over 100 Gallons Of Blood
Have you ever donated blood or considered it? Whether youve never batted an eye at a needle, or youre determined to overcome your fears in order to help out your community, youve come to the right place. Being a blood donor is a simple way to volunteer and give back to your community.
We met with two experts to learn the ins and outs of blood donation. From preparing to give blood to how its used and where it goes, their first-hand perspectives will help you better understand exactly what to expect when donating and just how important it is.
What Is Whole Blood Donation
Many people are used to the idea of donating whole blood, where you donate about a pint of blood in ten minutes. After donating, blood banks and laboratories will take that pint of blood and break it down into its different components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma.
Michael said, After you donate, theyll combine those separated components with donations from other people until they get one unit, which is a pint. When you donate whole blood, you can think of it as a third of a donation because it will take a couple more people to make up a full pint of either red cells, platelets or plasma.
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Why Is Donating Blood Important
Why not? Michael said. Its part of my life now. And I feel like everybody should do some sort of civic duty and this is mine.
There are many ways to contribute your time to the greater good of society. Some may spend a few hours on a weekend helping at a homeless shelter or food bank, others may give back by mentoring youth or coaching a sport. When it comes down to it, giving blood is a way of giving back to society in a meaningful way. And its really simple to do!
Did you know, according to the Red Cross, a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood? And blood and platelets cannot be manufactured they can only come from volunteer donors. Justin said:
Every two seconds someone in America needs blood. You can help save up to three people with every single donation. Its amazing to hear the stories of people who have been through something like a car accident, whove been through chemotherapy people who have lived the impact of needing blood, especially in an emergency setting. It makes the people who give blood especially those who give on such a regular basis it really makes them heroes in my mind.
Are There Any Side Effects From Donating Blood
After donating blood, you may get a small bruise where the needle went into your arm.
Donating blood in Australia is extremely safe and most people feel fine afterwards. However, you might occasionally feel light-headed or dizzy.
Contact the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood on 13 14 95 for advice if you feel unwell after donating blood.
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How To Prepare For Your Blood Donation:
There are a few things that you should know before you donate blood.
Prepare For Your Donation
We appreciate your interest in giving blood and saving lives! We want to ensure you know what to expect and how to prepare for your donation.
- Be sure to eat a hearty meal and drink plenty of fluids before you donate.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before your donation.
- On the day of your donation,you can use the CFL Express Pass to complete your health history interview from your home or office. This is optional, but it will help speed up your donation! CFL Express Pass is available on our Digital Donor app or by logging in to your account. Don’t forget to print your ticket if completing it through our website.
- If it’s your first time donating, watch the below video for a walkthrough of the donation process.
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How To Prepare For Blood Donation
- On the eve and on the day of blood donation, it is forbidden to eat fatty, fried, spicy and smoked food, sausages, and meat, fish and dairy products, eggs and butter , chocolate, nuts and dates, avocados, beets , bananas. I do not need to give blood on an empty stomach!
- It is better to drink sweet tea with jam, juices, fruit drinks, compotes, mineral water and eat bread, crackers, drying, boiled cereals, macaroni on water without oil, vegetables and fruits, EXCEPT avocados, beets, bananas.
- 48 hours before the visit to the blood service, you can not drink alcohol, and for 72 hours – take medicine containing aspirin and analgesics.
- Also, one hour before the donation procedure, you should refrain from smoking.
- The doctors determined that the organism responds best to blood loss precisely in the morning hours. And the earlier donation takes place, the easier this procedure is tolerated. After 12:00 donating blood is recommended only to regular donors.
- Do not plan donation after night duty or just a sleepless night.
- Do not plan to donate blood directly before exams, competitions, delivery of the project, for a particularly busy period of work, etc.
- You must have the original passport with you.
Following these simple rules is especially important in the delivery of platelets or plasma, their violation will affect the quality of the harvested blood components
Donating Blood Heres How To Prepare
For the past 50 years, the American Red Cross has joined forces with hospitals and blood banks across the country to replenish our nations crucial blood supply. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need. But before you schedule that appointment, you should make some tweaks in your diet.
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Can I Give Blood After A Sexual Encounter
Youll need to wait 3 months before you can donate blood if in the last 3 months, you have:
- Been a sex worker or had sex with a sex worker.
- Had sexual activity with someone who has injected drugs that werent prescribed.
- Had sexual activity with someone who has HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or human T-lymphotropic virus infection
What Is Platelet And Plasma Donation
When donating platelets or plasma, your blood is also taken out of you, but instead of separating the components after, a machine separates them as youre donating.
I get hooked up to a machine and sit for about two hours, Michael explained. As the blood is drawn out of me, the machine separates the blood into the platelet and plasma components and pumps red blood cells back into me.
He goes on to say that after a normal whole blood donation, you must wait eight weeks until you can donate again since red blood cells take longer to replenish. However, since plasma and platelets get replenished quicker, you can donate every two weeks.
He said, Ive gone almost every two weeks since 1998. Theres a 24-donation limit within a calendar year I think Ive hit that once or twice.
Over the years, Michael has made over 500 donations, totaling over 100 gallons of blood. Incredible!
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What To Expect During Your Donation
What Do I Need To Know To Donate Blood
A recent study by Ohio University psychologists discovered the key reason people are fearful about donating blood. Its not needles, the sight of blood or the pain. Its the fear of fainting, even though fainting rarely happens to blood donors. In reality, less than 1 percent of people faint during or after a donation.
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Winter Weather Affects Blood Donations: Here’s How
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Your blood is more precious than money or worldly possessions. So, donate blood to save a life.Blood donations are needed year-round to save lives, but the winter months are typically marked by busy holiday schedules, inclement weather and seasonal illness like the flu, which makes it difficult for blood donors to make and keep donation appointments. It is encouraged now more than ever to donate bloodwhich is simple and safe and usually takes under one hour. By doing so, you will help those who need it the most, especially cancer patients.
Are There Any Requirements For Giving Blood
Like most types of volunteering, there are requirements for donating all of which are to ensure the safety of the donors, as well as those who receive the blood.
Many of the requirements for donating blood depend on the type, i.e., giving whole blood versus platelets or plasma. Generally speaking, requirements include:
- Age Typically, you must be 17 years of age or older but this varies by state
- Weight Must weigh over 110 pounds
- Be in good health and feeling well If you dont feel well, go ahead and cancel
- Have not donated blood in the last 56 days Remember this timeframe is much shorter if youre donating platelets or plasma
There are instances you might be deferred from donating. For example, if you have low iron, have traveled outside the Unites States or are taking certain medications, a waiting period may be required both for your safety and for the safety of the donation recipients.
Michael shared that in the year 2000 he was deferred for one year, They tested for something called ALT which is a marker for hepatitis, but its also caused by things like physical exertion and Tylenol. I had been sick a couple days before and taken a bit of Tylenol, so my test came up as being unacceptable.
A year later he was back at it and hasnt stopped since. This is a good example of, even if you were deferred, you can still be eligible to donate in the future!
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How To Prepare For Your Blood Donation
If this is your first time donating blood with the Red Cross, take a minute to learn about the donation process. Knowing what to expect at your appointment can help alleviate nerves. The actual donation only takes about eight to ten minutes, but you can expect to be at the donation center for about an hour. Make a playlist of your favorite songs to help you relax while you wait or ask a friend to join you.
How To Prepare For Donating Blood
Make sure you use the bathroom before sitting down! Michael laughed. In his case, donating platelets and/or plasma takes around two hours. Thankfully, if youre donating whole blood, youll only be sitting for about 10 20 minutes.
Ive been told that donating whole blood is good for the donor because it forces your body to create new blood cells. You get some newer fresher blood. But my challenge is for everyone to try platelet donations once, and if you do, make sure youre prepared.
Over time, Michael developed a process for donating, saying, For platelets, drinking water beforehand isnt as big of a deal because they pump anti-coagulant into me, which is about a liter of fluid. And when donating plasma, you get cold from the inside out. So I wear long pants and take a blanket with me. My feet get swollen because Im sitting there and not moving, so I untie my shoes.
Donating platelets and plasma takes significantly longer than the more common whole blood donation, so if youre going this route, dont be shy about getting comfortable.
Here are some more common ways to prepare for giving blood:
- Eat iron-rich foods, like poultry, red meat or spinach
- Avoid fatty foods
- Drink an extra 16 oz of water or other liquid before your appointment
- Wear a short-sleeve shirt or have sleeves that are easy to roll up above your elbows
- Bring something to help pass the time, like music or a book
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Give Blood Get Stuff: American Red Cross Giving Incentives To Blood Donors
CSRA As more people make travel plans to celebrate with family and friends this year, the American Red Cross asks donors to set aside a time to give blood or platelets for patients waiting for care over the holidays.
Throughout the season, several factors can disrupt the ability of the Red Cross to collect enough blood for patients across the country.
- Travel: According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans plan to travel over the holidays this year, which may negatively impact the blood supply if fewer people come out to donate.
- Seasonal illness: The U.S. is seeing a rise in respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV, which can decrease the availability of healthy donors.
- Weather: Parts of the country have already seen storms bring several feet of snow this year. Winter weather often leads to hazardous road conditions, canceling blood drives and making it dangerous for donors to venture out to give.
It’s important for donors especially type O blood donors and platelet donors to give now to ensure hospitals have the blood they need through the end of the year.
Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS .
As a thank-you, all who come to give blood through Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.
12/22/2022: 12 p.m. 4 p.m., Savannah Lakes Village, 385 Country Club Drive
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.