Friday, May 1, 2009

Stick a fork in me...

...because I am DONE! Sweet freedom. I bummed around all morning and then volunteered with a cutie this afternoon. Very, very good day. :)

I was reading a post from Three Ring Circus about another cutie who relies on donated blood to bolster her immune system. My blood type is the universal donor, but the last time I donated blood I almost passed out and they had to stop the procedure prematurely. The Red Cross people were super-nurses; the second I said I was feeling sick I had a cold cloth on my forehead, a bag under my chin in case I was sick, and a Sprite in my hand. They assured me that they could still use the plasma, but I felt bad that my body decided to freak out.

I haven't been back to donate blood in several years, but I want to try again because needles do not bother me and donated blood is needed so badly. However, this time I want to be a smarter donor! So I googled "donating blood tips" and found the following information from the Red Cross website:

Before Donating


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Donating blood is my community service. It directly benefits folks who need help. - Jeffrey

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Get a good night’s sleep
Have a good breakfast or lunch
Drink extra water and fluids to replace the volume you will donate (avoid tea, coffee, or other beverages with caffeine)
Eat iron-rich foods — red meat, fish, poultry or liver, beans, iron-fortified cereals, raisins and prunes
Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries, or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fatty materials — lipids — that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods. When this occurs and required testing cannot be performed, the blood may need to be discarded.

During the Donation

Wear clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow
Show the staff any "good veins" that have been used successfully in the past to draw blood
Relax
Take the time to enjoy a snack and a drink in the refreshments area immediately after donating

After Donation
Rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids over the next 24-48 hours
Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for about five 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
If for any reason, something doesn’t feel right, call the American Red Cross toll free number provided to you after your donation
Enjoy the good feeling that comes with knowing that you may have saved as many as three lives.

Remember, if you start feeling really cold/light-headed/nauseous while they are taking the blood, tell one of the nurses. They know exactly what to do! They deal with this all the time. And if you need to stop the transfusion, they can still use the plasma. The site I linked has information about how to find a local blood drive. I'm going to find one this month and go for it!

1 comment:

tiff said...

Thank you for this! Great information. I'm sorry you almost passed out the last time. Hope the next time you donate goes better.