Do you know that only 3 out of 100 Americans donate blood each year, but every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood? Here’s another surprise: blood donation can be super easy. Once you’re seated comfortably, the actual donation time takes only 8 to 10 minutes. To help bring more ease for new and continuing donors, below are six things we’d like you to know before donating blood.
- You do not need to know your blood type. A national survey conducted earlier this year for the Red Cross revealed that 54% of people believe they need to know their blood type to donate blood. Find more eye-popping results here.
- You should be well-hydrated. Blood has a lot of water. To promote a good flow during donation and to prevent dizziness during or after, we recommend drinking an extra 16 oz. of liquid before donating. Hydrate after, too. Check out our fave water bottle that will help keep you hydrated on the go.
- You should eat a healthy meal rich in iron and vitamin C while avoiding high-fat foods just prior to donation. Your body needs iron to make new blood cells, replacing the ones lost through blood donations. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption. Find a list of iron rich foods here. Yum!
- You should wear cozy clothes. Whatever’s on top should be loose and comfortable with short sleeves or sleeves that can be easily rolled up above the elbow during your donation. Find our classic T-shirt here in many colors.
- You can speed up your appointment time. Complete a RapidPass® on the day of your donation, prior to arriving, and you’ll save time completing your health history that’s required before your donation can begin. Click here for more.
- You should remember to bring a picture ID. Your ID can be one primary ID, such your Red Cross blood donor card or state driver’s license; or two other forms of secondary ID. Click here to check for acceptable forms of ID.
Now that you’re feeling more confident about blood donation, click here to schedule an appointment near you. Need more tips? Watch this video of some pro blood donors. They make it look easy, because it is. Thanks!