Preparing for Your Blood Donation: Today, blood donation is in high demand, with someone needing blood every two seconds in the United States. To qualify, blood donors must be at least 17-years-old, weigh at least 110 lbs., and be in good general health. While much of the U.S. population meet these requirements, less than 10 percent of eligible donors donate annually.
There are four types of human blood: A, B, AB, and O. Regardless of your blood type, you are encouraged to donate as medical professionals will see to it that your donation is given to a matching recipient. People with type O blood are universal donors and can donate red blood cells to anyone. While those with type AB blood can only donate to other AB’s, they can receive red blood cells from all other donors.
Modern day blood donation is a very safe practice. Donors are not at risk of contracting AIDS or any other infectious diseases, as sterile, disposable needles are used once per patient.
By donating just one pint of blood, you can help save up to three lives. All of us here at Healtheo360 are encouraging you to get out and visit your local blood drive today! To make the most of your visit, follow these three tips to help you prepare for your blood donation:
Preparing for Your Blood Donation- Tip #1: Register
While it would be nice if anyone could walk into his or her local blood drive and make a donation, you must be registered as a blood donor. You can order your blood donor card online through the American Red Cross. If you do not have a donor card, be sure to bring your driver’s license or two other proper forms of identification to your local blood drive.
Preparing for Your Blood Donation- Tip #2: Eat Healthy
While we encourage everyone to maintain a healthy diet year round, it is important to eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid foods high in fat, as they can affect tests done on your blood. Try eating a meal that includes iron rich foods, such as poultry, fish, spinach, or beans. And hey, you always have free cookies to look forward to after donating at your local drive!
Preparing for Your Blood Donation- Tip #3: Hydrate
It is recommended everyone drink roughly eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, when donating blood, you are encouraged to drink an extra 16-ounces of nonalcoholic fluid, preferably water. Not only will this help you make the most of your donation, but also it will leave you feeling hydrated, energized, and ready to take on the day.