Blood donation is dependent on the goodwill of people, to voluntarily donate blood, without financial reward. As you are reading this, you might not think that today is the day that you will save a life. It is quite easy to save a life any day and it only takes a little bit of your time.
Almost anybody can donate blood but in order to do so, you must be fit and healthy.
Below are the things you should know before and after donating blood
- Get plenty of sleep the night before you plan to donate
- Eat a healthy meal before your donation.
- Avoid fatty foods such as burgers, French fries or ice cream before donating.
- Drink an extra 16 ounces (473 millilitres) of water and other fluids before the donation.
- Drink a lot of fluids and water for the next day or two.
- Avoid excessive physical activity or heavy lifting for the next five hours.
- If you feel dizzy, lie down with your feet up until the feeling passes.
- Keep the bandage on your arm and dry for five hours.
- If you have bleeding after removing the bandage, put pressure on the site and raise your arm until the bleeding stops.
- If bruising occurs under the skin, apply a cold pack to the area periodically during the first 24 hours.
- If your arm is sore, take a pain reliever such as paracetamol and others.
- Sit in a quiet area for 15mins where you can rest and eat a light snack after which you can leave.
- Avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen for the first 24 to 48 hours after donation.
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