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Precautions while Donating Blood Precautions while Donating Blood

Precautions while Donating Blood

Each year, thousands of generous people help others by donating blood and understands the importance of blood donation. Yet, many people are afraid of donating blood for reasons varying from worry about pain to be bothered about catching a disease. The reality is that donating blood is safe, as there are many precautions in place and there is no reason to fear a contagious disease.

Some precautions while donating blood -

1. Determine if you are eligible to donate blood. Each country′s blood service has different requirements in place. In India, the criteria for blood donors, as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. 1940 are as follows:

Age: between 18 to 60 years.
Body Weight: 45 kg and above.
Pulse Rate: 60 to 100 per minute and regular
Blood Pressure: Systolic 100 to 180 mm of mercury; Diastolic 50 to 100 mm of mercury.
Hemoglobin: minimum 12.5gm/100ml of blood.

2. Following a blood donation, drink an extra four glasses of non-alcoholic liquids or fruit juices or normal water, because you might experience dizziness or loss of strength.

3. Eat a full meal within a few hours of donating blood. The nutrients will give the body a head start on rebuilding plasma volume, red blood cells, and iron levels. Consume iron-rich foods in the weeks after donating blood. Meats, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, dried beans and whole grains are good nutritional sources of iron.

4. Use caution if you plan to do anything that could put you or others at risk of harm. For any hazardous occupation or hobby, follow applicable safety recommendations regarding your return to these activities after donating blood. Avoid heavy lifting for the rest of the day, and be sure to get extra rest if you feel tired. The body does most of its rebuilding during periods of sleep, so sleep a bit extra.

5. Avoid fatty foods for twenty-four hours before you donate. Increased fat in your blood stream might make it impossible to get accurate readings on some of the mandatory screening tests conducted on the samples of your blood.

6. Do not take alcohol within a few hours of giving blood because alcohol dilates the blood vessels. This causes less blood to be available to circulate to the brain leading to dizziness and fainting. People who smoke soon after giving blood are more likely to feel the effects of nicotine and therefore faint.

7. Nervousness can also cause your blood pressure to drop and can lead to dizziness. Talk to the person taking your blood if it helps you to feel better, and ask him or her to explain everything that is being done. Find ways to distract yourself. You can chew a gum, sing a song, recite something, think over the outcome of a TV serial you follow, Thinking about the worthy end result of your donation can also give you the required mental strength while donating blood.

8. If you feel faint, tell the medical staff, and they will assist you into a reclining position on the chair. If you have already left the donation center, put your head between your knees to increase blood flow to your brain, or lie down and elevate your legs if you can.

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