Are you giving blood soon? Here's what to do before, during and after your donation

Summer months blood shortage prompts call for donations
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 23:22:17-05

25 News and Carter Blood Care are teaming up once again for our 4th Annual Blood Drive.

The bus will be parked outside the 25 News station on Thursday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Whether you've never given blood or you are a regular, there's tips and tricks for before, during and after your donation.

Before your donation:

First, make an appointment for your donation.

You can sign up here for the 25 News Blood Drive. To find a blood drive or donor center with Carter Blood Care, click here.

To find a blood drive through the Red Cross, click here.

When you sign up for the 25 News Blood Drive, you can also answer the pre-screening questions for a shorter visit. To check your eligibility, click here.

It is recommends you eat a nutritious meal before your blood donation. Try to have iron-rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins.

Iron is an essential mineral that is a part of hemoglobin which helps maintain your strength and energy. Your body needs iron to make new blood cells, replacing the ones lost through blood donations.

The Red Cross recommends you make sure to get a good night's sleep the night before your donation and drink extra liquids.

If you're donating platelets, don't take aspirin for 2 days before your appointment.

On the day of your donation:

When you show up to the 25 News Blood Drive, only two donors will be allowed in the bus at a time to maintain social distancing. A mask must be work the entire time, and things will be sanitized in between patients.

It is recommended you bring a medication list so staff can know about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you're taking.

When you arrive, you will be asked to present a photo ID, which is required at all donations, according to Carter Blood Care. So, don't forget it!

Remember to wear a shirt with sleeves that you can roll up above your elbows for the blood donation.

You should also feel free to let the staff know whether you have a preferred arm or particular vein that has been used successfully in the past to draw blood.

Similar to the day before your donation, eat a healthy meal, avoiding fatty foods like hamburgers, fries or ice cream.

The Red Cross advises drinking an extra 16 oz. of water before your appointment.

After your blood donation:


First, relax for a few minutes and have some cookies or other snacks.

According to the Red Cross, you should avoid alcohol over the next 24 hours and drink an extra four (8 oz.) glasses of liquids.

Make sure to keep the strip bandage on for the next several hours. To avoid a skin rash, clean the area around the bandage with soap and water.

Take it easy today. Don’t do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the remainder of the day.

If the needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure and raise your arm straight up for 5-10 minutes or until bleeding stops.

If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, stop what you’re doing and sit down or lie down until you feel better. The Red Cross says to avoid performing any activity where fainting may lead to injury for at least 24 hours.

If you donate blood frequently, be sure to take multivitamins with iron to ensure you continue to replenish your iron stores before your next donation.

Finally, tell others about your good deed! You might inspire a friend or family member to donate.

For more resources regarding blood donations, click HERE or HERE.