Author Topic: Tips on Donating Blood  (Read 8737 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2009, 06:04:43 PM »
I think my tip would be to remember that they.....vaaaaant to suuuuuuuck your blooooood. ;)

In other words, they WANT you there!  They want your blood, and they don't want you to have a bad experience with the process any more than you want to!  You are a valuable resource that they want to protect and encourage to come back on a regular basis.

If you are in a place where they are not almost bowing down to the donors, you're in the wrong place! :D  Because they know fully well that you have something precious that you can decide to give or not give!

If you come across a person who is rude or not helpful in a blood donation site, you need to let the higher ups know about it.  Perhaps that person needs some retraining and a reminder of just what a blood donor means to the whole process.


katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3596
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2009, 08:46:12 PM »
DRINK WATER!  At least 1 litre in the 2 hours before.  In the waiting room is not too late.
Doesn't matter if it makes you pee, you won't pee it all.

Eat proper meals before hand.

When I used to donate, I used to loosely clench and unclench the fingers on the arm with the needle in it.  It seemed to make the blood flow better.

In Oz they give you a foam block to hold and instruct you to do this.

This about your top - they need to roll your sleeve up.  A business shirt with 8 cuff buttons is not ideal (as I have learnt).

Have another glass of water and something to eat before you leave the centre.  Stay there longer if you feel dizzy at all.

Lynnv

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2448
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2009, 09:39:53 AM »
DRINK WATER!  At least 1 litre in the 2 hours before.  In the waiting room is not too late.
Doesn't matter if it makes you pee, you won't pee it all.

Unless you are donating platelets.  Because you will be lying there about two hours....and if you have to pee for the last half-hour of that time, you will be miserable when it is all over.  In fact, if you are donating something that takes a while, remember to go potty before you start.  There are no potty breaks mid-donation.  Probably not as important for the shorter donations....still, you don't want to realize mid-donation that you don't have your astronaut diapers on and that nothing else will save you. 

Tell them if you have had trouble donating in the past, or been a tough stick.  They will generally give you someone who is more experienced, which should make you more comfortable (and relaxed) which will give you a better experience.  And there is no need to scare some poor newbie into thinking that everyone has little tiny collapsing veins and they will never be able to do the job.  :>

If it hurts or just doesn't feel right, let them know.  They can't do much if they don't know that you are having a problem.  Sometimes fixing things can be as easy as moving the needle a little to get it away from the vein walls.

If you have the time and the ability, ask about donations other than whole blood.  My husband always donates whole blood (he is O+ which means that is what they want from him).  I, on the other hand, am A+ so they would take my blood....but they have found that I have a very high platelet count.  I generally do a triple donation in less time than it takes most people to do a single or double.  Some of the other donations may take a little longer, but if you can give them the time it may be just what they need.  If you are doing something that takes longer, be sure to wear comfy clothes.  If I donated whole blood, a business suit would be okay as it doesn't take me long to fill a bag.  But for sitting for a long donation, best be wearing something that is comfortable.  Since my feet get cold during donations, I have been known to bring my fuzzy slippers and put them on during my donations.   ;D

Oh-and you can add me to the group that watches the needle go in....I like to see if they got a good stick and get blood flow.  I also don't get dizzy from donation (never have in all my years, anyway), and tend to watch the lines/bags to see how things are going.




Lynn

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein

Sharon F

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 642
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2009, 10:00:50 AM »
Iron, Iron, Iron!

I was cruising to the two gallon mark on blood donations, when a few years ago they switched from an ear wingadingdingy, to a finger wingadingdingy for the iron count. I have only been able to donate once ever since. I'm not anemic, its just that the minimum iron count for doantion is right at the high end of female average iron count.

If you are a woman have found yourself rejected for iron before, and aren't anemic, try going the week before your cycle starts. Avoid going the week of or week following, you'll be more likely to fail the iron test.

KitFox

  • Guest
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2009, 10:17:13 AM »
Water, water, water!
It will help keep you from feeling sick AND if you're dehydrated you might not be able to donate the minimum amount and then your blood and everyone's time is wasted.

Remember that the snacks afterwards are just that: snacks. There's a lot of good advice about pre-donation eating, but remember to eat a good meal, preferably one involving a little red meat (unless vegetarian) and lots of dark leafy greens.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2009, 10:25:10 AM »
Lots of good advice, especially Lynnv on donating plateltets and the like.

Might I add:

Don't donate if you're going to have to be doing a ton if work with your arms.  For example, I wouldn't donate if I were planning on raking leaves later that afternoon or even when I have to babysit and carry the baby around most of the evening.

Don't wear a short skirt or anything that couls be too revealing when you are lying on the table/reclining.

Nurvingiel

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12404
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2009, 11:22:02 PM »
Iron, Iron, Iron!

I was cruising to the two gallon mark on blood donations, when a few years ago they switched from an ear wingadingdingy, to a finger wingadingdingy for the iron count. I have only been able to donate once ever since. I'm not anemic, its just that the minimum iron count for doantion is right at the high end of female average iron count.

If you are a woman have found yourself rejected for iron before, and aren't anemic, try going the week before your cycle starts. Avoid going the week of or week following, you'll be more likely to fail the iron test.
Per the bolded, did you type "ear prick" and "finger prick"?

Did they actually used to jab you in the ear?
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

Sharon F

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 642
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2009, 11:56:05 PM »
Iron, Iron, Iron!

I was cruising to the two gallon mark on blood donations, when a few years ago they switched from an ear wingadingdingy, to a finger wingadingdingy for the iron count. I have only been able to donate once ever since. I'm not anemic, its just that the minimum iron count for doantion is right at the high end of female average iron count.

If you are a woman have found yourself rejected for iron before, and aren't anemic, try going the week before your cycle starts. Avoid going the week of or week following, you'll be more likely to fail the iron test.
Per the bolded, did you type "ear prick" and "finger prick"?

Did they actually used to jab you in the ear?

Yes, the first time I donated was 1991. Sometime around 1999 they stop doing ear jab because the iron reading was found to be higher.

M-theory

  • cybernetic loving
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7303
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2009, 12:00:40 AM »
Iron, Iron, Iron!

I was cruising to the two gallon mark on blood donations, when a few years ago they switched from an ear wingadingdingy, to a finger wingadingdingy for the iron count. I have only been able to donate once ever since. I'm not anemic, its just that the minimum iron count for doantion is right at the high end of female average iron count.

If you are a woman have found yourself rejected for iron before, and aren't anemic, try going the week before your cycle starts. Avoid going the week of or week following, you'll be more likely to fail the iron test.
Per the bolded, did you type "ear prick" and "finger prick"?

Did they actually used to jab you in the ear?

Yes, the first time I donated was 1991. Sometime around 1999 they stop doing ear jab because the iron reading was found to be higher.

The finger is OK. The arm is better. I don't know if I'd be up for donating if they had to nick me in the EAR.

MrsJWine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8745
  • I have an excessive fondness for parentheses.
    • Wallydraigle
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2009, 12:52:28 AM »
Don't go to choir or band practice after donating blood, even if it's hours later.  Just trust me on this.  One minute I was standing up, singing some atrocious German song, the next minute The Crush of My Lifetime (who was also a baritone and sat right behind me) was bending over me, peering into my face and saying, "Uuuuh... are you ok?"  I was far more worried about the embarrassment than I was about any possible injury.  :)


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

Nurvingiel

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12404
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2009, 01:11:57 AM »
I did not know that about the ear pr1ck. Thanks guys.

It is recommended not to do anything strenuous for 8 hours after donating blood. Seems that includes singing.
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2009, 01:28:29 PM »
Iron, Iron, Iron!

I was cruising to the two gallon mark on blood donations, when a few years ago they switched from an ear wingadingdingy, to a finger wingadingdingy for the iron count. I have only been able to donate once ever since. I'm not anemic, its just that the minimum iron count for doantion is right at the high end of female average iron count.

If you are a woman have found yourself rejected for iron before, and aren't anemic, try going the week before your cycle starts. Avoid going the week of or week following, you'll be more likely to fail the iron test.
Per the bolded, did you type "ear prick" and "finger prick"?

Did they actually used to jab you in the ear?

Useless but interesting info - the ear pick is a lot less painful.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to give the most accurate reading or something.  I loved the ear pick.

TotterGirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2009, 02:03:48 PM »
POD on the Hydrate!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, if you take a calcium supplement, stop a few days beforehand. (Don't know why that helps with the Iron measurement, but I'm assured that it does.)

StaciNadia

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1987
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2009, 02:41:04 PM »
I prefer to eat my big meal AFTER my blood donations for some reason, to replenish what I've lost.

If you have good veins on both arms, donate one time with one arm and the next time with the other.  So that you give the vein more time to recover.  This was recommended to me by the blood bank I donate to.

Don't donate if you're going to have to be doing a ton if work with your arms.  For example, I wouldn't donate if I were planning on raking leaves later that afternoon or even when I have to babysit and carry the baby around most of the evening.

Definitely.  I work in a fitting room and have to hang a LOT of clothes.  If I have work that evening, I won't donate.  I would prefer not to work till the following evening when I donate, just to give my arm a rest.

When I used to donate, I used to loosely clench and unclench the fingers on the arm with the needle in it.  It seemed to make the blood flow better.

In Oz they give you a foam block to hold and instruct you to do this.

This about your top - they need to roll your sleeve up.  A business shirt with 8 cuff buttons is not ideal (as I have learnt).

Have another glass of water and something to eat before you leave the centre.  Stay there longer if you feel dizzy at all.

Here we have a little foam thingie to squeeze, too!  And I definitely agree with this advice, too!

Crazy Chicken Lady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: Tips on donating blood
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2009, 03:12:32 PM »
I always try to think of a something funny during the finger wingadingdingy. I always remember the one time at work someone mistyped a name of a blood bank as "Vlood Bank" and the error wasn't noticed for almost a year. The location even received communications (including phone calls) from my employee addressing them as such and such "Vlood Bank". The poor people working there must have thought we were messing with the . The strange thing was no one even said anything about it. It's like my employee had an image of a vampire owned business or something.

The last time I gave blood I remembered a Family Guy episode where Peter was debating with Brian whether or not the Count from Sesame Street ever drank residents' blood. The lady said she had never had anyone laugh during the stick.

Twisted humor is what gets me through the donation. It seems like every blood drive is scheduled in those mobile units (I'm claustrophobic) so I try to bring a book along to keep my mind off of everything. Of course, flipping the pages and holding the book with one hand can be a challenge. :-)