Giving blood is a very worthy cause, but blood donation without feeling sick is the best route of all.
I feel like giving blood is such a worthy cause. I use donated blood at work and I am an advocate for it. But, blood donation without feeling sick has been my “holy grail.” I know a lot of people (especially women) who don’t feel well after giving blood and today we’re going to talk about why it’s important and what you can do to be prepared!
This post is sponsored by United Blood Services with TapInfluence
Let’s talk about blood. How often do you think about it? Do you realize that every part of your body needs blood to survive? If you head back to your last biology class — Blood is what takes the ATP and oxygen to every cell in your body. It’s truly an amazing system if you think about it.
And as long as it stays closed — it normally works amazingly well.
But, open it up – -and it’s like turning on a faucet. It can drip out or pour out.
Pouring out is clearly a problem. You carry around some extra blood just for a little bleeding here and there. Mother nature plans on that. However, lose too much and your body starts to pick which organs it sends blood.
That means your heart and brain get all the blood.
Now, you might envision a bad accident as the main reason why someone might need blood, but we use it frequently in the rest of the hospital. The statistics are pretty crazy:
1 in 7 people entering the hospital will need blood at some point during their stay.
Most people who receive blood are:
- being treated for cancer
- undergoing orthopedic surgeries
- undergoing organ and marrow transplants
- undergoing cardiovascular surgeries
- being treated for inherited blood disorders
And frankly, I’d have to add having a baby to that list. I’m not sure where we stand in the frequency of giving blood products, but when we give blood products, we often give the most.
I’ve even seen trauma nurses come to a code where they are shocked by how much blood we use.
I think a lot of women are averse to giving blood because of how they feel after a donation. Which, is true. You’re giving a fair amount of your blood up to help someone else. It is within that range that Mother Nature provides, but it can make you feel weak/ill for possibly the day after you give blood.
I know for me, it is a turn off to donating.
Some things you can do (and I did this successfully the last time, so I know it works).
- My #1 is to hydrate — and I mean a lot. I actually set the alarm on my phone to remind me to gulp a glass every couple of hours. I’d try to get in 10 large glasses in the day before you donate.
- Eat iron-rich foods. Things like red meat, leafy greens, and raisins. Apparently, you should try to avoid fatty foods prior to the donation because it can mess up the testing and they can’t use your donation. I’d also try to get more vitamins and minerals in throughout the week prior to set yourself up for success
- Eat a meal the morning of. A lot of times I try to do it early to get it done, but I do MUCH better if I drink another couple of glasses and eat some eggs before I go.
- Bring a water bottle with you — and continue to hydrate throughout the day of your donation.
I really believe (and know — because the last time I prepared I felt totally fine the whole day afterward) that if you prepare in advance (as well as taking care of yourself afterward) you can have a successful blood donation!
Now, let’s talk about WHY you’d want to take the time to prepare your body — is it really worth it to donate blood?
I have seen women too weak to hold their new baby. Their face is ashen and I am really concerned (and it takes quite a bit to get an experienced nurse concerned). Often, women will resist blood until it is really necessary. And then, when that blood comes it — it’s like new life is put into them. It truly saves lives. It brings color into their lives and suddenly that new baby is something to enjoy. It is literally like putting life into their body — through their vein (and through your donation).
We give blood frequently in our unit and I know you’d love to help a new mom who really needed it.
Of course, I’ve also seen women who would have 100% died without it.
Blood can both be given for an emergency where several units are given within an hour, or blood can also be given calmly when a woman has just lost a little too much after delivery and isn’t able to replace her own blood volume adequately.
Both ways are super important and can make a HUGE difference.
- Every 2 seconds someone in the US needs a transfusion
- One whole blood donation can help up to 3 people
- Blood can be donated every 56 days — that’s 6 times/year (do the math, that could be up to 18 people you’re really saving)
- You can also donate plasma (that’s like the fluid that your blood floats around in, that is also super important) or platelets (that’s what helps your blood clot)
While most people think to donate blood during a major disaster, it’s important that the blood center has a steady supply of blood for all types of situations (like I talked about above).
Which is why you should make an appointment today. Be impulsive — and save a life. It really can save a life!
In the Phoenix area, you can book with United Blood Services — make an appointment, get prepared and save a life today! Plus, you’ll leave with the knowledge that you did a GREAT thing!
How can YOU get involved? Find out at BeImpulsiveRSVP.com. #BeImpulsive.