Tips for Making Blood Donation Positive Experience
Is giving blood safe?
Giving blood is safe and most donors find the experience very positive. There is no risk of contracting a disease; each needle kit and collection bag – is sterile and is used only once. On the other hand, people sometimes feel weak or dizzy once they have donated half a liter of blood. However, it is possible to avoid these disadvantages by following a few recommendations.
Let’s start with what a donor should drink or eat on the day of the donation. What do you suggest?
Drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic drinks such as fruit juice or soft drinks or energy drinks. Drinking is important because you lose fluids when you give blood. It is equally important to eat. Do not give blood on an empty stomach; take at least lunch time.
Can I exercise before donating?
You can exercise if you are hydrated afterwards.
Can we give blood if we have a cold or allergies?
If your symptoms are mild, you only have runny nose or sneezing, yes, you can donate. On the other hand, if you do not feel on your plate, for example if you have a fever, postpone your appointment; it will be safer for you and the receiver.
Are there other times when it is better to abstain?
Let’s say it’s better not to donate if you have a hangover; as alcohol dehydrates the body, you may be a little stunned after sampling.
And if we take medicine?
Most medications are not a problem
Does donating blood can hinder sports performance?
If you play recreational sport, you should be able to resume your activities the next day, but you may not be at your best. The loss of hemoglobin, the molecule of red blood cells that carries oxygen, can cause a slight decrease in performance. If you are a top athlete, I recommend that you do not donate in the weeks leading up to a competition.
How long do we have to wait before eating after a donation?
You should drink and eat something immediately after your donation and rest for at least 15 minutes in the snack area. I recommend salty snacks in most cases because salt helps the body retain fluids. Of note, the majority of cookies contain a little salt and are a good choice unless you try to reduce your sodium intake.
Do you have any other suggestions for donors?
I often advise people to distract themselves by bringing in some reading or music. If you bring a book, remember that you have a needle in your arm when you turn the pages.
Once back home, are there any precautions to take?
Drink a lot and avoid demanding activities for the rest of the day. Also remove your dressing and clean the exposed area with soap and water to prevent skin irritation.
Do you have any advice for people who donate regularly?
As you know, we encourage people to give regularly. It should be noted, however, that the minimum interval between two donations is 56 days. If you give twice a year or more, I recommend eating iron-rich foods or taking multivitamins that contain iron. For women, it is sometimes advisable to take iron supplements. Even though these supplements can be bought without a prescription, it is better to consult a doctor before taking them.