Before Your Donation
* Blood Donation Tip - Eat Healthy Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
* Get a good night's sleep.
* Drink an extra water and fluids before the donation.
* Eat a healthy meal before your donation.
* If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
* Remember to bring your donor card, driver's license or two other forms of ID.
During Your Donation
* Wear clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
* Let the nurse know if you have a preferred arm and show the staff any good veins that have been used successfully in the past to draw blood.
* Relax, listen to music, talk to other donors or read during the donation process.
* Take the time to enjoy a snack and a drink in the refreshments area immediately after donating.
After Your Donation
* Drink plenty of fluids to replenish any fluids you lost during donation.
* Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for about six hours after donation.
* If you feel light headed, lie down, preferably with feet elevated, until the feeling passes.
* In rare cases when bleeding occurs after removing the bandage, apply pressure to the site and raise your arm for 3-5 minutes. If bleeding or bruising occurs under the skin, apply a cold pack to the area periodically during the first 24 hours.
* Enjoy the good feeling that comes with knowing that you may have saved as many as three lives.
Modified from: American Red Cross