5 Things every woman should know before giving blood
It’s crucial more than ever that people should give blood if they can – it’s something we should all try to do if it’s possible. Hospitals do not have endless supply of the stuff and it’s definitely in short supply.
The process can be scary but we have narrowed down 5 of the most important things you need to know before giving blood.
You can give blood on your period, but it’s advice to miss giving blood if you are having a heavy period. Any form of blood loss can reduce the iron in your body and make you unwell. If you are potentially pregnant or suffer with your periods, then it’s best to not give blood to ensure there are no risks – you come first at the end of the day.
Most people can give blood but there are a few restrictions. It can depend on things like your health, medication and whether you have travelled recently. If you are fit and healthy, weight between 7 – 25 stone are aged between 17 – 66, then you can give blood. If you are not in this category, receiving IVF, pregnant, received a blood transfusion or are on certain types of medication – then you can’t give blood.
When you go for the appointment, staff will carry out a pre-assessment task to make sure you are able and healthy to give blood on that day. On the Giving Blood website, there are a few questions which cover a majority of questions you may have.
FOOD AND DRINK?
Eating regularly will help keep your blood sugar levels stable before donating, and this is crucial to make sure you don’t feel dizzy after donating. Have plenty of fluid before coming and keep hydrated – this doesn’t mean alcohol. Alcohol is a big no no! After donating, make sure you have two drinks and a snack before leaving to bring your levels back to normal.
It’s recommended to take it easy for the rest of the day, this means no exercise, no sex and nothing that will causes you to exert your strength. You can go back to work if you relax a bit more and avoid putting strength on the arm you donated with.
Words by Nicole Morris