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A blood donation occurs when a healthy person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions or made into medications by a process called fractionation. In the developed world, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who give blood for a community supply. In poorer countries, established supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when family or friends need a transfusion.
This description uses material from the Wikipedia article on Blood donation and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (view authors).
My appointment through the website didn't work so I almost backed out, but I phoned up to book an appointment. Turns out I first registered in 2010 but only just got round to donating! Donation went well, didn't feel faint or anything! Wad a bit weird and I hadn't drunk enough water so they couldn't find a vein in my left arm so had to do the right. So glad I finally got round to doing this! And yummy free biscuits! Will definitely do this as regularly as I can.
June 13 2013: Been there today, have to wait until the end of august before I can donate blood, because I was in Malaria endangered sections of Thailand in February and you have to wait 6 months after that before you can donat blood. So a little more than 2 months!
The donation itself went fine. It did hurt a little when the needle went in, but really no big deal. It took longer than expected due to perhaps not having as much water as I should have (I drank heaps all day but kind of tapered off in the last couple of hours). So I was asked to squeeze my hand and wiggle my toes a lot, and got small heatpacks for my arm and hand to encourage blood flow. At one point the woman taking my blood thought she might have to finish early, but we didn't have to - I got there in the end. It may have taken more like 15 minutes for me, instead of 5-10 for the standard half-litre.
It hurt more than I expected when the needle was taken out. But that was very brief, and then I was fine. I stuck around for a while afterwards and got a free milkshake and crackers, then went to my friend's house and ate most of a pizza. I was told to eat and drink a lot to replenish the system so I did!
I’ve been preparing for a month this time, after a previous attempt was unsuccessful, so was nervous for two reasons: 1) the obvious, new experience, needle, will it hurt, will I pass out 2) really wanting to just get it done and not be rejected again
During this month and especially the last week I ate a lot of beef, lamb, chickpeas, lentils, tofu + vitamin C-rich fresh orange juice, capsicum and carrots.
During the initial check, before testing my hemoglobin, the nurse tested my heart rate, and found that it was a little too high (104) to be able to donate, but she said that’s common on a first donation and we’ll measure that again later to see if it drops. My hemoglobin turned out okay – 129. The minimum to be allowed to donate is 120 and last time I was 118. Still not super-high so it looks like I really need to work at it to be eligible, but good news for this time.
I then sat in the donating area, chatted a little to my friend who was donating plasma (and was fine), read a book and tried to control my breathing. The nurse came back and measured my pulse manually and it was still too high. I knew it would be fine but I couldn’t help being nervous! After more attempts to calm down, some water, and a brief call to my girlfriend I finally managed to get it down to 98. So finally I was allowed to do it...
Tried to do this on 2nd April 2013 but my iron levels were too low (again). This is what happens when you have mammoth monthly monsters like me. So i'm booked in again for 31st July. I'll be taking iron supplements from now on so lets hope next time i'm more successful.
Since I don't have gas to go out and volunteer anywhere for the post-Sandy relief effort, I donated blood for the first time at the Flanders Fire Department in Flanders, NY on Saturday, November 3, 2012.
Went with colleagues yesterday. I knew there was a risk my iron would be too low (as my GP warned me last year) but I’ve tried to eat more iron-rich foods since then, and especially in the week and a half since my colleague suggested it. Still too low, but only by a couple of points. They said try again next time, and I will.
A colleague has set up a group donation so I will be going in next week to attempt to donate. She tells me they will check my iron levels on the day to see if I’m eligible so that saves a visit to the GP. It’s been almost a year since I was deemed a bit low in iron by the GP and I have tried to be more conscious of my diet, which now includes lots more chickpeas and lentils and often more red meat and nuts. I hope I’ll be able to donate this time.
Everything was going so well too. As soon as they removed the needle (which was by FAR the worst part) I got what can only be described as the mother of all head rushes. Juice and wet clothes for all. Also, in case anyone asks, this picture is not of my photogenic side.