how to prepare for giving blood

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AS YOU CAN read about here, donating blood not only helps save lives, it is great for your health, especially if you are a man or a post-menopausal woman. Here is how to prepare for giving blood:

1. Hydrate. Drink plenty of water the day of your appointment. One pint of liquid will be removed from your body, and your body will replace the liquid in your blood stream within 24 hours. It will be easier for your body to do this if you're hydrated. Ideally you would drink plenty of water the day before you give blood too. If you really want to do the ideal thing, you'd drink plenty of water three days before giving blood.

2. Don't drink any alcohol the day before (or the day) you give blood, because alcohol dehydrates you, which is the opposite of hydration.

3. Don't take any aspirin the day before (or the day) you donate blood. Aspirin thins your blood, which means it prevents clotting. Which means it promotes bleeding. Often donated blood is used to save the life of someone who is bleeding, and the last thing they need is an infusion of blood that promotes bleeding.

4. If you have a cold, change your appointment to a later date. This is for your sake. It isn't likely to be transmitted to the receiver, but giving blood when you have a cold may make it more difficult for your body to fight the cold.

5. Eat two hours before your appointment. You want to have plenty of food in your system, but ideally it would be mostly digested at the time you gave blood, so those nutrients are available in your blood and in your body afterwards also. So eat sometime before you go in. And hour before is fine. Three hours before is fine too. Two hours before is perfect. Eat a healthy meal.

Read more about the health benefits of giving blood.

A few facts about giving blood:

1. Nothing can replace blood. It cannot be manufactured. It can only come from blood donors.

2. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

3. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed each day.

4. Less than 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood.

5. The average adult has ten pints of blood in her or his body. One pint is given during a donation.

6. There are four kinds of "transfusable products" that can be derived from blood: red cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate. Usually, two or three of these are produced from a pint of donated whole blood, so each donation can help save up to three lives.

7. The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they "want to help others."

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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