Tips for giving blood

I like to give blood. Its a great way to help other people. I highly recommend it.

It always seems like there is always a shortage of blood, which I’m guessing is because only 5% of the population actually donates. And there are people who need blood all the time due to accidents, surgeries, etc.

Since I’ve given quite a few times now, here are some tips to make your blood donation experience better:

1. Eat a lot before you donate.

Just like you want to eat before you exercise to give you energy, you also need to eat before you donate. If you don’t do this, you might feel lightheaded after you give. I think this is because your brain runs on sugar. (Which is also my excuse why I drink so many soft drinks. *grin*)

If you donate in the morning, then make sure you eat breakfast. At the place I go to to donate blood, there are snacks available, so I usually eat some after I sign in.

2. Drink a lot before you donate.

I drink at least two or three glasses. If you don’t, you’ll actually be OK, but your blood will flow more slowly and then it will take more time to give. Again, at a blood donation center, they’ll usually have bottled water. Also, if you forgot to do tip #1, you can get both in one shot by drinking orange juice, which donation centers usually have as well.

3. Bring your passport.

We try to keep the blood supply very clean in the US, so one of the ways this is done is by screening out folks who have traveled to risky places. So one of the questions they ask is where you’ve traveled to. I used to have this info in my Palm, but now that I rely on a Moleskine instead, I find that my passport works even better for this travel info since you have a stamp when you enter another country and a stamp when you re-enter the US.

4. Eat and drink after you donate. This helps refuel your body.

4 Replies to “Tips for giving blood”

  1. Blud is goouud… raahhhrrgg – Thanks for this post, Louie! And, it’s a great way to be lightheaded… for free!

    In all seriousness, the inconvenience is nearly nothing and benefit to the community enormous; I second this cry – donate!

  2. Can I third this? This is an excellent and easy way to help someone in need. I donate regularly myself and always come away from the experience happy that I’ve been able to help! It’s a great feeling.

    You can find out more about donating blood here:

  3. i also thank you for the tip i just made an appointment to give blood friday the 19th and i was hoping for some good advice.

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