We wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that summer blood donors are developing a new appreciation for the air-conditioned comfort of our Neighborhood Donor Centers and donor coaches. With temperatures topping 100 degrees this week, the heat can be hazardous if protective measures aren’t taken – and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is encouraging donors to stay safe by following these tips.
Take a seat and enjoy some juice and cookies before heading back out into the heat.
Stay awhile. We always encourage donors to relax for a few minutes after their donation before leaving the donor center or drive, but this is especially important when it’s hot outside. Have some refreshments, take a seat and feel free to linger for as long as it takes you to feel good as new.
Quench your thirst. Every blood drive and Neighborhood Donor Center has a well-stocked supply of water and juice for donors to enjoy after they’ve given. Be sure to grab a drink before heading out, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It is important to stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids. You might even take a bottle of water for the road and be sure to drink it within 30 to 45 minutes.
Cool off. After you leave the donor center or blood drive, your vehicle will probably feel like a sauna. Before you drive away, roll down the windows or let the air conditioning run for a moment to help prevent lightheadedness as you’re driving.
Take it easy. We typically ask donors not to engage in strenuous activities following their donation, and we hope you will take this advice to heart when the heat poses an additional danger. If you have to spend time outdoors after donating, it’s a good idea to take it easy. And while we always tell donors to avoid alcohol consumption for 24 hours after donating blood, we think it’s worth an additional reminder at times like this.
Enjoy some ice cream! In case you hadn’t heard, August is Blue Bell Month at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. If you donate or attempt to donate any time this month, you’ll receive a gift certificate for a free pint of Blue Bell ice cream. Gift certificates can be redeemed wherever you buy groceries – so beat the heat by grabbing a pint of your favorite flavor.