*Bring a large bottle of orange juice. It will give you a fast boost of sustenance after giving blood.
*If you feel faint, tell the medical staff, and they will assist you into a reclining position on the chair. If you’ve already left the donation center, put your head between your knees to increase blood flow to your brain, or lay down and elevate your legs if you can.
*If you fail the iron test with one hand, try the other hand. If you repeatedly fail, try eating oatmeal (any kind will do) for breakfast for at least a week before you donate.
*Spread the word! Tell friends and family how you overcame your fear of donating and encourage them to donate as well.
*Offer to donate for someone who’s ineligible – someone who’s on strong drugs, in bad health, or who has traveled to a country that disqualifies them.
*Offer to donate for your kids – get them excited about donating, so that they’ll continue in your footsteps when they’re old enough.
*Lie down flat when you donate. This helps with the drop in blood pressure and the lightheadedness, especially when it is your first time.
*Once you are okay with the process, ask about platelet donations. It takes longer to donate platelets but you get to keep your red blood cells. Platelets are a vital product used to treat seriously ill patients.
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