Preparing Yourself to Donate Blood

 

The Procedure

  • Head to a nearby blood bank or blood drive
  • Present your ID and fill in the required questionnaire
  • The lab technician will ask you few questions, then will test your blood pressure, body temperature and Hemoglobin level.
  • The donation process takes about 8 to 12 minutes
  • When done, you will be offered juice and cookies as refreshments.

Tips Before Donating Blood

  • Have a good night’s sleep.
  • Eat well. Avoid fatty meals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcohol and an excess of caffeine (tea, coffee).
  • Wear loose clothes (with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow).
  • Identify the “good veins” if you are a regular blood donor.
  • Bring an MP3 player or a friend to support you and help cool you down.
  • Know your medical, body piercing and travel history to avoid any delays.
  • Don’t forget your ID card.

Possible Side Effects

Most people feel absolutely fine after donating blood, both physically and mentally! Minor side effects may sometimes occur:

  • Dizziness or Malaise: Inform anyone nearby, lie down and raise your legs if you can. Get up slowly and rink plenty of fuilds after feeling well again.
  • Bruising at the site of the needle prick: it is usually harmless and heals in a few days.

Tips After Donating Blood

  • Drink plenty of fluids when you're done.
  • Do not rush to leave
  • Apply pressure on the needle site for at least 5 minutes after you're done donating
  • Avoid smoking for at least 2 hours after donating.
  • Do not work out (heavy lift and vigorous exercises) for at least 24 hours after donating.

Who Can Give Blood?

  • Age: 18 to 65 years old. Above that, it comes down to the overall health status.
  • Weight: on average >60Kg for men, >50Kg for women.
  • If you are feeling well, and display no signs of infection.
  • You can give blood every 56 Days, up to 4 times a year for women and 5 for men.

Who Can't Give Blood?

Although most people are eligible for blood donation, it is not the case of everyone. There are a many reasons why you might not be able to donate, but these reasons fall into two main categories: the potentiality that it could harm your health, and the potentiality that it could harm the patient's health. We understand that it can be very disappointing if you are unable to give blood, however we do hope that you understand that our duty is to ensure the safety of both the donor and the patient.

You should not give blood if:

  • You have already donated blood 5 times this year.
  • You have undergone an operation less than 6 months ago.
  • You have ongoing liver, lung, thyroid or heart disease.
  • You have lost weight or have noted a persistent temperature rise for no apparent cause.
  • You have presented fever, a cough, a running nose, sneezing in the last days or so.
  • You have taken aspirin or antibiotics in the past week.
  • You have or have had diarrhea within the last week.
  • You have ingested or injected narcotics (drugs).
  • You have tested positive at any point for malaria.
  • You have tested positive for HIV at any point, or you think you might be at risk.
  • You have had a past history of any type of blood or organ-related cancer.
  • You have had a vaccination (flu, chicken pox, hepatitis…) within 1 month or less.
  • You have a blood-borne disease (thalassemia, hemophilia…)
  • You present occasional epileptic seizures.
  • You have donated platelets less than 48 hours ago.
  • You have had a piercing or a tattoo less than a year ago.
  • You have had a needle or razor or blade accident with foreign blood less than a year ago.
  • You have had an unprotected sexual activity with multiple partners.
  • You are a man who has had sex with another man within the last year (even if protected).
  • You are under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 (with limitations).
  • You are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 9 months.
  • You have a manifesting allergy.
  • You have had dental work in the last week or so.
  • You have received blood transfusions during your lifetime.
  • You have ever visited countries in South Asia (especially India) and mostly central Africa.
  • You have been to England in the early 1990s.