Tips for improving your blood donation experience

How safe is blood donation?

Making a blood donation is very safe, and most donors have a very good donation experience. There is no risk of catching a disease as every kit (needles and collection bag) is sterile and used only once.

What should donors eat on the day of donation?

Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids (water, sports drinks, juice etc) as you do lose fluid when you donate. Make sure you also eat something that day and don’t come on an empty stomach.

Donor RefreshmentsHow soon before a donation should you eat?

We recommend you have something to eat at least 4 hours before you donate to ensure a good donation experience.

How soon after a donation should you eat?

You should eat and drink something right after your donation and spend at least 10-15 minutes in the rest area.

Is it OK to exercise on the morning of my donation?

Yes – provided you make sure to rehydrate afterwards

Can a person donate if they have a cold or allergies?

If you have a mild cold, sneezing or have a cough we would ask you postpone your donations until you are feeling 100%. That’s to ensure both your safety and that of the recipient.

Is there a time when it would not be good to donate?

It’s not a good idea to donate if you are hung over as you may be dehydrated and could end up feeling light headed afterwards.

What about medication?

This depends on the medication and a number of other factors. We recommend you call us on 0800 448 325 and ask to speak with a nurse if you want to check if you can donate.

Does donating blood affect your athletic performance?

If you are a recreational athlete, you should be able to continue your activities the next day, but we discourage you doing any rigorous exercise following your donation. If you’re a competitive athlete, we recommend not donating in the few weeks leading up to an event or race.

Are there any other suggestions to improve the donation experience?

Bring a book or music to listen to keep yourself entertained.

What about after the donor leaves the Donor Centre or blood drive, what should they do?

For the rest of the day, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous activities. You can remove the bandage once it has stopped bleeding.

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