In recognition of the world blood donor day, here is a closer look at the blood donation process and some frequently asked questions by those who donate.
What is the process like for donating blood? When you go to donate blood, you first register, and you are checked to make sure you are eligible. You answer questions about your health and medications. Also, your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin level are all checked. Then a staff will clean the area of your arm that you are donating from and insert a clean needle. The blood donation part takes only about 8-10 minutes. Once that is complete you are given snacks and liquids and some time to rest. The whole process takes roughly an hour from entrance to exit.
What are the blood donation restrictions? Blood donation restrictions depend on the type of blood donation you are giving. However, for the most common which is the whole blood, you must be feeling well and not have donated in the last 56 days. You also must be over 110 pounds, and, in most states, you have to be over 16 years of age.
Can you do anything to prepare to donate? Yes, the American Red Cross gives some guidelines of drinking a lot of water before you donate and eating a healthy meal. They also recommend wearing comfortable and easily accessible clothing to donate from your arm. It can also be good to bring music, a book or another type of activity to do while you are donating.
Information was sourced from the American Red Cross. Check out their website for additional resources and information about donating blood or finding a donation center near you: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/before-during-after.html