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6 Things You Need To Know Before Donating Blood, According To The Red Cross

6 Things You Need To Know Before Donating Blood, According To The Red Cross

Saad Ali Rana

Over 90 per cent of total blood transfused in Pakistan is donated by the friends and relatives of patients. Around 10-20% of blood supply is still donated by professional donors. This got us thinking, maybe people need to know about what to expect when donating blood.

With today being World Blood donation day, we here at Propergaanda decided to make a list of everything you need to know before donating blood.  Luckily for us, Red Cross has outlined some guidelines you should follow while donating blood. So here you go.

You should prepare by drinking and eating properly

Donating blood is an important process and should be treated as such. Like any medical experience, you should prepare for body.  The Red Cross advises that you eat iron-rich foods like meat, eggs, kale, and certain fruits, to make sure that your blood is at its healthiest. And dehydration isn’t going to help the donation procedure, so make sure you drink a bit more than you usually would before you go in to donate — not so much that you can’t function or need to pee constantly, but enough that you feel comfortable and hydrated.

You should be healthy enough to donate blood

HARBURG, GERMANY – JUNE 08: Blood donations are seen at the blood donation service Hamburg on June 8, 2011 in Harburg, Germany. Hospitals and the Red Cross in northern Germany have appealed to the public for blood donations as a result of the current outbreak of enterohemorrhagic E. coli, also known as the EHEC bacteria. With at least 2,200 people afflicted by the infection, and approximately 500 suffering from the HUS complication from EHEC that attacks the kidneys, hospitals have seen an explosive growth in their need for donated blood plasma. The EHEC outbreak has thus far killed at least 22 people in Europe’s deadliest recorded outbreak of E. coli. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

When donating blood, the most obvious part of it is to ensure your body can handle it. Which is why people who donate blood need to be healthy. People under a certain age or weight cannot donate blood. Furthermore, people who are on certain medications may not be able to do so. Moreover, people who have illnesses, especially those that are transferred through blood, will not be allowed to donate blood. Also, people suffering from addiction cannot donate either.

Resting the day before and the day of is important

Making sure your body is healthy is important. Take it easy the day before donating blood. Get a full night of rest the night before. And on the day of the donation, do not do any exhausting activity, like work out. Also, you should take  a high sugar snack with you. When donating blood, your sugar may go down, making you feel a little dizzy. That’s completely normal! Just take it easy all day and make sure you eat and drink throughout the day to keep your energy up!

Take a break between donations

947303506 Doctor collecting samples while a volunteer gives blood

If you’re planning to make this a regular activity, make sure you have breaks in between the time of donation. The recommended time between donations is every 56 days, or six times a year. Red  Cross recommends you stay within this timeframe.

Donating blood is a pretty fast process

blood bag and hand of donor with heart. Blood donation day concept. Human donates blood. Vector illustration in flat style.

After ensuring the blood is a match and good to go, it’s a relatively fast process. Many people assume that donating blood would take long. While time does vary between how much blood is required, it usually doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. Just take a book, or listen to music, and it will all be over.

Want to help out but cannot donate blood? Host a blood drive!

Many people want to donate blood, but are unable to do so because of various reasons. But don’t worry, you can help too! Hosting blood drives are a great way to get massive amount of donations in a short period of time. Even if you cannot host one directly, volunteering during these drives can be helpful to the people involved. Donate food, money or literally your labour to help around.

If you’re looking to donate blood anytime soon, go visit your nearest hospital and donate now! Or just visiting the Red Cross website.


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