Blood Donation Tips

By Mommy Donna and Kib - December 03, 2019

One of the things on my bucket list is to be able to donate blood.

I have tried donating blood in the past twice, but I was denied.  The first was due to health reasons and the second one was due to my trip in Coron, Palawan (this is to rule out malaria).  I was so happy that on my third attempt, I passed the initial screening.

On the initial screening, you will be asked to fill out a form and answer some questions about health.  The doctor will then next interview you and check your blood pressure.  Next, the hemoglobin count will be checked by pricking your finger and getting a drop of your blood.  Next, wait for your turn to donate a bag of blood!

Blood extraction only takes 7 minutes.

Want to donate blood?  Here are the things that you need to take note of before you go and donate blood.


  • Get enough sleep.  You must have 8-10 hours of sleep before you donate blood.  Blood donation can be done any time of the day but it is better to donate in the morning.
  • Eat heavy breakfast.  Drinking a cup of coffee and eating a piece of bread is not enough, you must really eat a hefty amount of breakfast before donating blood.  This is to avoid any weakness 
  • No alcohol for 24 hours.  
  • No smoking for four hours prior to blood donation.
  • Be honest during interview.  Being honest during interview also helps the doctor assess your overall health condition.  In addition to that, it also eliminates wasted time on blood donation should there be some significant findings on the blood.
  • Make sure you are not under medication during blood donation.  The doctor will assess if you are okay to donate blood even if you are under medication.  Key is still honesty in filling up the form and answering questions by the doctor.


  • Lie down and relax.  Trust the medical technician who will extract your blood.  It will be very difficult for him/her to find your artery if you are tense and anxious.
  • Take a deep breath when the needle is inserted on your arm.  Trust me, this technique lessens the pain when the huge needle is inserted in your arms.
  • Entertain yourself.  If ever, bring a book or just talk to someone while your blood is being extracted so that you will never feel the time passing by.  This will also help you in being relaxed while the blood is being extracted.


  • Have enough rest.  This is very important for you to gain strength after blood donation especially for the first timers.  You will feel woozy and weak, so it is better to go home straight after blood donation.
  • No strenuous activity for 24 hours.
  • Do not let the extracted arm (either left or right) carry heavy stuff.  Do not stress the arm where the blood was extracted to avoid bleeding and pain.
  • Eat.  After blood extraction, you will feel weak.  Better to eat to regain strength so that you will have energy the following day.
  • No caffeine for 24 hours but drink lots of water.  While some who have donated blood for several times can drink coffee after blood donation, for the first timers, it is better to avoid caffeinated drink for 24 hours to avoid palpitations.
  • Elevate your feet when sleeping or lying down.  This is to avoid dizziness when you stand up.

I talked with the medical technician who did the blood extraction to help me ease my anxiety during the process.  I asked questions on what other tests will the donated blood undergo before it will be given to an individual who needs blood.  The donated blood will undergo a lot of tests for six months before it will be approved for blood transfusion.  Should there will be significant findings during the six months' waiting time, they will call the donee to report it; otherwise, if no call has been made, it means that you have healthy blood and it can truly help a sick individual.

How often can an individual donate blood?  You can donate blood every three months, as long as you have a clean bill of health.  It does not mean that you were able to donate blood in the past, you will always be allowed to donate blood in the future.  It still depends on your health condition during the blood donation day.

Where to donate blood?  Check out the nearest hospital in your area if they accept blood donations.  Red Cross also conducts blood donation drive, check out if there is a schedule in your place.  There are also other organizations which organize blood donation campaigns, you can also try to donate there.

Here are some photos of the blood donation that I did last October:

The medical technician is about to insert the needle and she is looking for my artery

Making a pose with the bag of blood extracted from me

This bag of blood is not yet to be transfused.  It still needs to undergo a lot of tests for six months before it can be donated.  If there will be significant findings on the lab tests, the donee will be receiving a call.  I hope I won't receive any....

I wish that I can donate blood again in the future.

Donate blood, save lives.

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