In 2023, there will be many things that a person can do to help others. In recent times, there has been a push from medical agencies like hospitals for more people to donate blood. Donating blood saves lives; as such, it is one of the most beneficial things you can do to help someone else out. It’s one of the easiest, too (provided you aren’t scared of needles!) If you are looking to donate blood, there are some activities you must avoid beforehand to ensure that the blood you donate is of high quality. So, read on to learn more!
1. Don’t Drink Alcohol
Drinking alcohol before donating blood can affect the quality of the donated blood. Alcohol consumption can dehydrate the body, which can lead to an insufficient volume of blood being collected. It can also cause abnormal liver function tests, which you will need to take when you donate to the American Red Cross, and this can disqualify a person from donating blood. Additionally, alcohol consumption can affect a person’s judgment and ability to donate blood safely. For these reasons, it is generally recommended that people avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before donating blood.
2. Don’t Eat A Heavy Meal
Eating a light meal before donating blood is generally allowed and can help to prevent dizziness or fainting during or after the donation process. However, donors need to choose their pre-donation meals wisely. Foods that are high in fat or oil can interfere with the accuracy of certain blood tests, so it is generally recommended to avoid these types of foods before donating blood. Be sure that you drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, in the hours leading up to the blood donation to help ensure that the body is hydrated. This can help to ensure that a sufficient volume of blood can be collected and can also help to reduce the risk of dizziness or fainting during or after the donation.
3. Avoid Non-Essential Medications
Certain medications can affect the quality of the donated blood or may disqualify a person from donating blood. For example, some medications can thin the blood or alter its composition, which can affect laboratory test results. Other medications can cause abnormal liver function tests or may pose a risk to the recipient of the donated blood. People must disclose all medications they are taking, including over-the-counter and herbal supplements, to the blood donation center before donating blood. This allows the staff to determine whether it is safe for the person to donate blood.
4. Avoid Excessive Activity
It is generally recommended to avoid strenuous exercise for at least a day before you donate blood because strenuous exercise can cause a temporary decrease in the volume of blood in the body, which can affect the quality of the donated blood. Additionally, strenuous exercise can cause dehydration, affecting the volume of blood that can be collected.
5. Don’t Donate If You Are Ill
Generally, donating blood if you are ill is a big no-no! This is because being unwell can affect the quality of the donated blood or may pose a risk to the recipient of the donated blood. If you have an infection, your blood may contain harmful bacteria or viruses that could be transmitted through the donated blood. So, if you feel ill, or have a fever or a cold, skip this round of blood donation.