Our blood donors are the best. That’s why we do everything we can to make sure they are safe and comfortable every time they come in to save lives. To truly have the best experience, though, donors should be prepared.
Blood is made up in large part by water, so it’s important that donors are well hydrated even before we start the process. Additionally, donors can request drinks while they’re donating and are encouraged to drink more water or a sports drink before they leave.
LOAD UP ON IRON
Iron is the “fuel” that helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your tissues. Your body naturally replaces iron after you give blood, but you might need a boost before you donate or if you give often.
Though we do not directly measure your iron, we do test your hematocrit level. Blood has three components — red blood cells, plasma and platelets. The hematocrit test measures red blood cells because iron increases them. Find out more about iron here.
Donors should eat a hearty meal a few hours before donating. This helps prevent fainting and feeling dizzy.
We also offer snacks for afterward when donors need to refuel a bit.
WAIT 15 MINUTES
Take a minute to rest and let your body recover. During this time, we invite you to grab a snack and a drink from the fridge. We want our donors to be safe, well and healthy, so taking a few minutes to recalibrate after you’ve saved three lives is advised.