Preparing for the Blood Drive

Sarah Valverde, Assistant Editor

On Wednesday, Nov 2, the Red Cross will be on campus to collect whole blood donations. Anyone 16 and over can sign up in room 107. Students under 18 have to fill out paperwork in order to participate.

For those planning on giving blood next week, now is the perfect time to prepare. While the collection itself is an easy process, it’s important to make sure patients get the best blood possible.

For the rest of this week, donors should try to eat especially healthy. The big focus should be foods high in iron and Vitamin C: spinach, whole grains, eggs, beef, strawberries, citrus, beans, lentils and so on.

Keeping hydrated and well-rested is important as well. If a blood sample isn’t a good quality, the Red Cross has to throw it away, making the donor’s effort a waste.

24 hours before donating, be sure to avoid fatty foods. These mess up the quality of the blood and make screening extremely difficult.

The night before donation, sleep is key. Be sure to get at least eight hours of shut-eye Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, donors need to eat a balanced breakfast to keep their blood sugar up, along with drinking plenty of water before and after the donation.

The donation itself is painless. There will be slight discomfort at first, but that fades. The extraction process itself takes about 10 minutes.

If the donor follows the steps above, they should not feel dizzy at the end of donation. That doesn’t mean a donor should jump into activity. Immediately after the donation, students should relax for ten minutes, eating a snack and keeping hydrated. This allows the body to get used to the sudden loss of blood.

For the rest of the day, donors should eat meals high in protein and avoid intense exercise and heavy lifting. In fact, avoiding strenuous activity for the next few days is highly recommended.

Donating blood saves lives, and those willing to give truly give back to the community.