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Thing to know About Blood Donation

Donating blood is a very safe process. Each donor’s blood is collected through a new, sterile needle that is used once and then discarded. Occasionally, problems arise and you can reduce the chances of this happening by following the advice below.

Before your donation

  • Make sure that you eat something in the three hours before you donate. 
  • Have plenty of liquid the day before donation, especially in warm weather. In addition, in the 3 hours before donating, please drink at least 3 good-sized glasses of water/juice.

During your donation

  • Tense and relax your calf and thigh muscles and move your legs and feet during and immediately after your donation.

After your donation

  • Stay for at least 15 minutes in the refreshment area and have more to drink and a snack.
  • In the next few hours avoid rushing and strenuous exercise, drink plenty of water/juice and avoid alcoholic drinks.
  • Most people feel fine after donating blood, but feeling lightheaded or short-lived dizziness is a fairly common reaction and it occurs in 0.5% of blood donors. You might also have an upset stomach. Quite rarely, (0.06% per cent of donors) some people can experience dizziness which may be associated with fainting up to 6 hours after they donate blood.
  • If you do feel dizzy or unwell, squat, sit or lie down immediately for a few minutes until you feel better and gradually resume your activities. If you feel faint at the donor centre during or after your donation we recommend that you do not drive for at least four hours. 
  • If you feel unwell whilst driving it is important to pull over immediately and lie as flat as possible in your reclined seat. You should avoid getting out of the car and walking near the road when feeling faint or dizzy. Ask for help to get home rather than trying to drive again.
  • Small bruises around the area where the needle was inserted sometimes happen – even rarer (0.05% of donations) are larger bruises or pain where the needle was inserted.
  • You can reduce the risk of a large bruise by keeping the bandage on your arm for four hours after donating, and by avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous use of your donation arm for several hours after donating.
  • Extremely rarely, nerve irritation or inadvertent entry into an artery can occur. These injuries usually resolve completely and happen in less than 0.02% of donors.

Your health is very important to the Blood Service. If you feel unwell at any time before, during or after your donation, or you experience pain, it is very important to tell the staff immediately.  Even if you start feeling unwell after you leave the donor centre.


Can blood diseases be transferred by sexual contact?

1)  Blood diseases like porphyria, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, and thalassemia? Yes,
IF that sexual contact leads to a pregnancy, your offspring may indeed "catch" it, in a genetic sense. Can those diseases be passed to a sexual partner? NO.

2)  Blood-bourne infections like HIV, Hepatitis C, syphilis, schistosomiasis, malaria, Dengue, Ebola, African sleeping sickness, and Chaga's disease? Yes,
Although some, like hepatitis C, are much more easily by sexual contact than the others, any disease for which the causative organism circulates in the blood could theoretically be spread by sexual contact.

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