How to Prepare for Blood Donation: Practical Advice from Facebook Followers

July 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm

The Saisslins know how to prepare.

On our Facebook Page, recently we asked followers, “Blood Heroes: What advice would you give potential donors about how to prepare for a successful first blood donation?” We received thirty-two responses from experienced donors eager to share their tips and tricks. This post showcases their best practical advice on how to prepare your body for blood donation.

Thank you to all the Blood Heroes who shared their wisdom!


Jan: My advice is 1) Drink a lot of water prior to donation. It helps the phlebotomist find a suitable vein. 2) Eat iron rich food 3-5 days leading up to the donation. 3) Tell the PSBC staff this is the first time donating and don’t be afraid to ask questions and indicate which arm you prefer they use for the donation.

Sean: Get a good night’s sleep before donating.

Deb: Be sure you’re well hydrated so they can find a good vein. Wear a short-sleeved shirt, too.

Bill: Shave your arm where they are going to put that ridiculous sticky tape on it!

Emily: If you have long hair, don’t put it up in a ponytail or a bun (it hurts when you lay down).

Bill: Ladies (heck … and men) might be better off wearing pants that day rather than a skirt.

Naomi: If you work out regularly, plan your workout schedule so that you will have a good 24 hours of rest after the donation.

Kirsten: Have a solid meal and fluids ahead of time, and relax. Plus there are cookies when you’re done!

Venice: If you’re a vegetarian, eat tons of food that is high in iron.

Michael: Spinach is a very good source of iron. What I do is put spinach instead of lettuce in my sandwiches.

Greg: Once you’re done, they treat you to juice, coffee and cookies. Go every 56 days because they always need the blood!

To see more practical advice about donation or to find answers to commonly asked questions, visit this page on our Website. You can also call 1-800-398-7888.  The next blog post will have the best advice on how to motivate your mind and how to overcome concerns about donation.