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DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
10/23/12 8:40 A

Good for you Jess. I have been a donor several times a year for the past 20 or so years. It feels wonderful to save 3 lives at once and my blood is always in demand as i am universal donor.

PENGUIN08 Posts: 10
10/23/12 8:35 A

It doesnt' hurt. One little prick of the needle.
My only tip is to drink alot of water for a few days ahead of time. This is what I am told as I have small veins and have been turned away as even the best Red Cross worker couldn't get it. You'll be fine.

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
10/22/12 11:25 P

I donate whenever I'm able to - and have also been the recipient of donations. I feel it's extremely important to do this on a regular basis.

Definitely eat well the day before and day of your donation
Go in well hydrated, and make an effort to stay that way for the rest of the day
Don't look at the needle - it's usually done in such a way that you don't really see the process anyway.
Plan to take it somewhat easy the rest of the day - go for a pleasant walk instead of doing aerobics, for example.
Don't freak yourself out - it's not particularly uncomfortable or weird. It IS life saving for recipients.
Repeat as able.
Thanks for overcoming your hesitancy and donating. It is truly giving life.

DWROBERGE Posts: 355,233
10/22/12 11:01 P

be totally fre of any medications.

JESSMARIE13 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 149
10/22/12 4:55 P

I am officially a blood donor! emoticon

Thank y'all so much for your advice! The brief moment of panic was NOTHING compared to how easy the rest of the process was. If any one else is even considering donating, I highly encourage it. One hour of facing a fear (and maybe even conquering it!) is an easy trade off for the amount of good it does.

RMR9798 SparkPoints: (175,052)
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10/22/12 4:30 P

Make sure you eat something before donating.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
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Posts: 10,426
10/22/12 4:26 P

Don't stand up too quick afterwards. They usually don't let you anyway...but saw someone faint before.

emoticon also.

Two family members have needed blood unexpectedly over the years.

MOM2ACAT SparkPoints: (190,535)
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10/22/12 4:22 P

I don't have any tips, but I want to say THANK YOU!
I've been undergoing chemo for over 2 1/2 years now, and I've needed several blood transfusions because it causes low hemoglobin. Every time I have needed blood, I have been extremely fatigued, but a few hours after a transfusion, I feel so much better! It really is a precious gift.

And for those who won't donate because they are afraid of needles, here is something to think about; I get stuck with needles at least 3 times per month for my chemo and the lab work that goes along with it. I've been doing this for over 2 1/2 years now.

HAWAII5YEARS SparkPoints: (61,436)
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10/22/12 4:11 P

This is a question I can answer with complete confidence and authority. I am a phlebotomist for a major blood bank.
Here are my tips:
1. Get enough sleep.
2. Eat normal healthy meals at your regular time. Don't donate just before mealtime (when you are hungry) but instead an hour or two after your meal.
3. Lots of fluids. After you have your mini-medical, drink a 16 oz bottle of water before they actually draw the blood (take a potty break if you need to--they will wait, I assure you)
4. Wear light layers and prior to donating, peel off enough outer layers so you are just on the cool side of comfortable.
5. If you tend to get dizzy, ask that your head be kept low, or your feet elevated. Also, if they have ice packs or chemical cold packs, have them place one under your neck during the donation
6. Don't look if it bothers you--the only person who needs to look is the one who is inserting the needle.
7. If you have unusual pain, or feel sick, hot or dizzy say something immediately!
8. When you are finished and ready to get up, do it slowly--sit on the side of the bed for a minute or so with your feet dangling.
9. Stick with cold or cool liquids until your next meal. Don't rush to get hot coffee.

Thanks for being a blood donor! emoticon

DMUERHOFF Posts: 1,901
10/22/12 3:46 P

Relax, look away from the needle if you are nervous. It does not hurt. I got a little nauseous last time, if you are feeling bad let them know-they can reposition you, give you some sprite etc. I think I got nauseous because I did not eat well before. Eat a good breakfast with protien, lots of liquids and I would avoid the caffeine, sugar is ok.

Also remember if you feel any discomfort, it's nothing compared to what the people you are helping are going through.

PBAILEY06 SparkPoints: (38,676)
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Posts: 629
10/22/12 1:10 P

I donate regularly - and I'm a fainter. My prep:

1. Eat a good breakfast, including protein, and stay hydrated before donating.
2. If you are worried you will get lightheaded - ask that your legs be raised. If you do get lightheaded, they will raise your legs, so I just start that way.
3. Doesn't hurt to sip on juice or regular soda right before or while donating. Most people have something sugary afterwards,I like to start with it to prevent being light-headed.
4. I don't watch the needle go in. They put some gauze over it after its in, so you don't see it while donating.
5. Plan some time to sit for a bit afterwards, and drink plenty of fluids.

Thank you for planning to donate. Its a wonderful thing you can do for people in need.

TCANNO SparkPoints: (344,480)
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10/22/12 4:38 A

finding the time is a good think

10/22/12 4:12 A

done this a few times. I prefer not to watch. I probably wouldn't faint or anything, but I just look at the wall. Next time I'll take my ipod, I think. But it doesn't take that long - they only take a pint - about 5-7 minutes at most. It's absolutely not painful, and in England you get a cup of tea and a biscuit afterwards, and a badge saying "Be nice to me - I gave blood today"

Please bear in mind this is a UK experience, so may not be the same for you - didn't realise people in the US donated!

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (565,393)
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10/22/12 2:04 A

Just think of all the people you are helping.

JESSMARIE13 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 149
10/22/12 1:19 A

I'm donating blood as part of my university's homecoming week. I HATE needles but my best friend is organizing the event so I'm donating to support her. Any tips or things that I can do to make the process easier?

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