On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day 2010 that is celebrated each year on June 14th each year it would be appropriate to talk about the various preparations one has to make to donate blood. Yes, this year’s slogan for this international day is “New blood for the world”, which aims at motivating the young worldwide about the importance of becoming blood donors.
The importance of safe blood for transfusions is the need of the hour. There is an urgent need for blood for women with pregnancy complications and loss of blood during and after childbirth. In addition, anemics and those with conditions like thalassemia, sickle cell disease and cancer require regular transfusion of blood. Besides accident victims and those requiring surgery need blood transfusions to overcome blood loss.
Make good preparations on the night before and on the morning of the day you donate blood. First make sure you drink a lot of fluids in the form of water and juices on the night and morning before you donate blood. This also helps to keep the blood pressure high and avoids fainting and dizziness. However caffeine and aerated drinks are to be avoided.
Secondly it is best to avoid going for donating blood on an empty stomach and one should have breakfast of a cereal or toast or a light meal of a sandwich and fruit about 3 hours before blood donation. This helps maintain your blood sugar level and helps keep away light-headedness. If you have a tendency of becoming nauseous during donation avoid eating too much before blood donation.
The third preparation involves avoiding excess of fats for at least a day before blood donation; it will make it impossible to get accurate blood investigations. Consuming iron rich foods like spinach, whole grains, eggs, and beef about 15 days before blood donation along with adequate amount of Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, which is vital for donating blood.
The next preparation is the most important involving the mental preparation to donate blood. You should learn to relax as stress and nervousness could adversely affect your blood pressure and could also make you feel faint and dizzy. The nurse who checks your hemoglobin levels will be able to answer your questions and reassure you.
Diverting your attention by talking to the person involved in carrying on the collection of blood will help relax you. Besides taking your I-pod or cassette player and listening to your favorite numbers could help relax you and make you feel all right during blood donation. Reading a book may help others. Yes, talking to the nurse and asking her of how timely blood donation has made a huge difference of life and death in some cases would help you feel great donating blood for a noble task.
It would help if you ask for a blanket in case your hands and feet go cold; a sign of drop of blood pressure. This could make you feel warm again. Besides taking deep breaths before donating blood helps to relax and divert you. Never hold your breath too long but cry if it really hurts,
To conclude, youngsters who form the basis of the theme for World Blood Donor Day 2010; “New blood for the world” should be motivated for blood donation because blood donation is a noble task and you could be the person who made a difference between life and death.