This Monday’s Health topic is on blood donation, a gift that will help save lives!
During my hospital stay, I had received a couple of blood transfusions and I know it made a huge impact on my health. My genetic liver disease will not allow my liver to process copper in the foods and drinks I consume. It’s a disease that, unfortunately, is difficult to diagnose without having liver failure. Not only did I have liver failure, but my blood was saturated with copper… it had been poisoned to the point my blood was orange, not red! The minute I received a blood transfusion I began to feel alive, that I had more energy to fight for my life. Someone who had donated blood, gave me the gift of life and I am forever grateful…Thank you!
Tips For Donating
For those of you who would like to give blood, and are new to the experience, I will share tips on how to make it an easier process. These tips are from the Red Cross.
Eligible Donors Must Be:
- In good general health.
- At least 17 years old
- Weigh at least 110lbs
Some people are denied for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean you wont ever be able to donate. Keep trying if this happens to you, eventually you will be accepted for this rewarding gift you are giving.
Before You Donate
- Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet, eating iron rich foods such as: red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals, and raisins.
- Get a good nights sleep.
- Drink an extra 16oz of water (any fluids that do not contain alcohol).
- Eat a healthy meal before donating… stay away from fatty foods like hamburgers, fries, ice cream. Fatty foods can affect the testing of your blood by not being able to detect the blood for infectious diseases. Your blood will not be used if this happens.
- If you are a platelet donor, remember your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
- Remember to bring your donor card, Driver’s License, or two other forms of ID.
During Your Donation
- Make sure to wear a shirt with loose enough sleeves to raise above the elbow.
- Let the person taking your blood know if you have a preferred arm, and point out any good veins you may have.
- Relax, read, listen to music, talk to others during the process.
- Immediately after donating, enjoy a snack and drink in the refreshments area.
- Drink an extra four 8oz glasses of non alcoholic fluids over the next 24hours.
- Eat iron rich foods again (as you did before donating).
- Remove outer wrap bandage within the next hour. (if had one).
- Remove strip bandage (under wrap) for the next several hours.
- To avoid skin rashes around bandage area, clean around bandage with soap and water.
- No heavy lifting or vigorous exercise the rest of the day.
- If needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure to it and elevate arm straight up for 5- 10 minutes, or until bleeding stops.
- If you experience dizziness or feel light-headed, stop what you are doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. Also, avoid performing activities where fainting may lead to injury for at least 24 hours.
- Call 1866-236-3276 to report additional health information that you forgot to share, or if any problems occur and you need medical care after giving blood.
Make a difference in someone’s life, donate blood!
Giving blood is important and needed in the medical world, especially with the rare blood types. What you are doing is a wonderful, generous act… you should feel happy knowing you are helping to save lives.