Have you ever donated your blood? If there’s anything that is deterring you from donating blood, speak to an expert to clear your doubts. You can become a blood donor if you’re in good health. Remember there are thousands of people who need donated blood to stay alive. Donating blood can not only save a life, but it is actually for your health as well. World Blood Donor Day is being celebrated across the globe today to thank all blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been observing this day since 2004 to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products to people in need. The theme for this year celebration is “Safe blood saves lives” which calls for promoting safe blood donation.

If you’ve decided to donate blood, you should know how to prepare and what to do during and after blood donation. And we are here to help you brush up on your knowledge about blood donation on World Blood Donor Day.

What to do before blood donation

To be eligible to donate whole blood you must be in good health, above 18 years, weight above 45 kgs, and should not have any underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. If you fulfil all these criteria, do these steps to prepare for blood donation.

Select a donation type and make an appointment: There are different types of blood donation such as whole blood, plasma or platelets. Before you go for blood donation, select a donation type and make an appointment as per your convenience.

Eat healthy foods, especially foods rich in iron, before blood donation: Foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins are excellent sources of iron.

Make sure to rest and hydrate well before the donation day: Get a good night’s sleep of 6 to 8 hours the night before your donation, and plenty of liquids. Avoid alcohol at least 24 hours before donating blood. Also, don’t smoke 2 hours before donating blood.

If you’re donating platelets, don’t take aspirin for 2 days before your appointment.

What to do on the day of your donation

Ready to go and donate your blood? Wait! There are certain things you should do just before your donation. Such as

Drink an extra water (or other non-alcoholic drink) before your appointment.

Avoid fatty foods like hamburgers, fries or ice cream on the day of donation.

Wear comfortable clothes. For example, a shirt with sleeves that you can easily roll up above your elbows.

Don’t forget to take your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification.

If you have a preferred arm or particular vein that has been used successfully in the past to draw blood, tell the nurse.

Inform the doctor or nurse about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking.

While you donate blood, relax, listen to music, talk to other donors or read.

What to do after your donation

Often people often make this mistake of getting up immediately after donating blood. This can lead to dizziness and headache. It is very important to take a short rest after blood donation.

Relax for a few minutes in the refreshment or recovery area. You can have the cookies or other snacks that you’ve earned it.

Drink at least four glasses of water or non-alcoholic liquids. Avoid alcohol over the next 24 hours.

Keep the strip bandage on for some hours to avoid a skin rash but clean the area around the bandage with soap and water.

Avoid vigorous exercise and do not lift any heavy objects for the rest of the day.

Eat iron-rich foods.

And do not forget to share your experience with others and encourage your close ones to donate their blood too.

This post first appeared on The Health Site

The post What to do before and after you give blood appeared first on Sound Health and Lasting Wealth.

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