Is the Blood Donation Process Safe?
In the vast majority of cases, the generous act of donating blood is safe and poses no threats to donors. The donation process is a simple, effective and rewarding way to make a difference in someone else's life. Here are some things you should know about the process:
- You don't have to worry about getting AIDS or any other infection diseases when you donate. Any reputable agency uses disposable, sterile needles for each donation and are discarded after the collection.
- Any lightheadedness or fatigue from donating is uncommon and usually short-lived. The majority of those who donate will have no fatigue. Those who do usually report that the feeling passes in a couple hours.
- A candidate must be in good overall health and have a solid medical history. Before you give blood, you will undergo a brief physical examination to ensure you are in good shape to donate. You may be asked several questions about your medical history by the administering staff. This is simply to confirm that you are healthy and will be a good candidate to donate.
- You will be monitored for a short period after giving. Donors are normally asked to remain in the canteen location for several minutes after giving to ensure any abnormal feelings are addressed by qualifying professionals promptly.
Safety Considerations You Should Make
In the effort to make your experience a favorable one, follow this sound advice:
- Before you begin:
- Try to get a good 8 hours of sleep the night before
- Have a healthy breakfast or lunch, preferably with iron-rich foods like bran cereals, spinach or beef
- Be sure to be adequately hydrated
- During the donation:
- Wear an outfit that makes it easy for the practitioner to access your entire arm
- Remain calm, practice deep breathing and don't stress
- Take advantage of snacks and refreshments offered afterwards to avoid feeling faint
- After you are finished:
- Make sure to continue your hydration regimen for up to 48 hours after giving.
- Stay relaxed and avoid any strenuous exercising or lifting for up to five hours afterwards.
- If you do experience moments of fatigue afterwards, lay with your feet elevated until the feelings pass.
- If you experience bleeding after removing the bandage, apply pressure to the area and elevate your arm for up to five minutes. If you develop a bruise or the bleeding continues underneath the skin, use ice or a cold pack on the area on and off for the next 24 hours.
- If you simply don't feel well afterwards, contact the blood donation company or visit your doctor using your health insurance as soon as possible.