Donating your blood is a crucial and noble cause. Due to issues relating to injuries and diseases, hospitals are always in need of blood donations from willing members of the public.
And in your daily life, you likely encounter blood drives that remind you to donate blood when you can. Blood drives occur on hospital grounds, in schoolyards, and even in business offices in an effort to drum up more donations.
Whether you donate blood regularly or you’re going in for your first donation, there are things to consider you may never have thought about. Before your next donation, ensure you verify these seven things before donating blood.
1. Do I Need an Appointment?
Whether you need to book an appointment to donate blood will depend on your state.
While it was the norm to go to a donation center and give blood whenever you had spare time, this is another aspect of life disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Governors in states across the nation have set mandates to ensure social distancing. And perhaps in your state, you must make an appointment to give blood.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to schedule an appointment with the Red Cross. That way, you can show up, donate, and get back to your day.
2. How Long Will it Take?
This is yet another issue to verify before you give blood, especially if you’re a first-timer.
According to the Red Cross FAQ page, you can expect your blood donation process to take anywhere from one hour to 80 minutes.
If you’re short on time and need to get back to work or school, consider enrolling in the Red Cross’s RapidPass program. This lets you submit paperwork in advance of your appointment.
3. What is the Blood Donation Process?
The blood donation process may vary due to location and other issues.
But, for the most part, this is the process when you show up at a donation center:
- You sign in or register at a front desk and discuss your blood-donating eligibility.
- Medical personnel review your medical history with you.
- You are given a quick physical examination.
- You donate blood, which takes about 10 minutes.
- You are given a refreshment as you sit for a few minutes.
That’s it! It’s a quick and straightforward process for you, and one that will save lives for others who need your donation.
4. Do I Need to Know My Blood Type?
Many people think they need to know their blood type to donate blood.
But we can verify that this is untrue. It’s completely fine to not know your blood type. Donations are always needed from all blood types, for one thing.
And for another, you can actually find out your blood type after donating if you don’t know it. That’s another perk for you, right there!
5. What if I Made an Appointment, But I Feel Sick?
If you feel sick the day of your blood donation program, call the center before heading over.
Explain your symptoms to them. You should be in good health when you give blood, but it may depend on your symptoms whether or not you’re still a viable donor.
If you suspect you have the flu or COVID-19, you should not donate blood, as they can affect the blood you give. Please, call the center and verify with them first.
6. Can I Donate Blood if I’m a Regular Cannabis Consumer?
Cannabis consumption is one main reason people do not donate blood. It’s like when you apply to a new job and find out a drug test is a job requirement. The idea may well put you off.
But have no fear! You can still likely donate blood even if you consume cannabis frequently.
To learn more about that and any stipulations cannabis consumers face, check out this resource.
7. What Should I Do Before the Appointment?
There are a few things you can do before your appointment to make the blood donation experience a positive one.
The Red Cross recommends you get a full night’s sleep beforehand. They also suggest you drink plenty of water and eat a full meal before your appointment.
These tips are especially crucial for anyone who has ever felt dizzy after donating blood. Nourishing your body beforehand is your best bet at having a great experience!
It’s understandable you may need a few things verified before you donate blood.
And hopefully after reading this article, the picture is clearer and you’re ready to make a blood donation appointment!