Top 10 mistakes to avoid when you donate blood


Walk into any blood donation drive and you see only a handful of donors from a huge potential donor base. Call someone to donate blood in emergencies for a friend and you see people come forward but have too many questions in the head. Often people are worried about a lot of things when asked to donate blood. The one thing that tops this list is the concern "Will I be safe after donation?" or even "My friend fainted will I faint too?" etc and so on. Donors in most cases want that assurance of safety. Although much of the onus falls on the standard and quality of the Blood Bank staff, there is a lot more YOU as a donor can do to have a safe donation experience. Blood donation is indeed a simple and easy process once you ensure that the following mistakes are not committed:

Mistake 1. Not coming prepared: Preparation? Yeah. Essentially every donor needs to make he/she does some work on oneself before donating blood. And what's that?

  • Having something substantial to eat in the last 3 hours.
  • Sleeping well for 6 or more hours on previous night.
  • Not having smoked in the last 2 hours
  • Not having consumed alcohol in the last 24 hours.

And that's it. First mistake is avoided!

Mistake 2. Not filling donor form: Irrespective of where or when you donate you need to answer some questions. And where are they available? On the donor questionnaire form. Remember:

  • Every question answered honestly takes you closer to a safer blood donation.
  • Be free in giving information. The data in the form is absolutely confidential, it is to ascertain your fitness for donation.

Fill up the donor questionnaire form and the second mistake is buried!.

Mistake 3. Not having a medical examination: Medical examination before donation? Yes.

  • Your weight, blood pressure needs to be checked and made sure it's quantitatively in the ranges that is safe for donation.
  • Plus you get to meet a doctor (at the place you donate) too and discuss your medical suitability for donation. Be frank, discuss your concerns with the doctor and get the seal of approval to donate.

This done, mistake 3 is killed.

Mistake 4. Not having your Hemoglobin checked: A sample of your blood is taken (usually by a small prick on your hand or sometimes on your arm) and is checked to see if you have required levels of Hb to donate. Many techniques are used by different blood banks, but the end result must be that you have a Hb count of 12.5g/dL or more. Be sure your Hb test is done. Insist if not done. Now you have the fourth error avoided.

Mistake 5. Not being relaxed: A relaxed mind is your best bet for a pleasurable experience.

  • Relax for the blood bag used is new and there is no reuse of the syringe. Relax for you have taken sufficient pre donation care to reach here.
  • Relax, for even if it your first time, the BB staff do this everyday!.

Relax and enjoy the fun :) throwing another mistake out of contention.

Mistake 6. Not taking care of yourself while donating: Self care during donation may sound odd, but really there is a lot you can do to help yourself as you give out those drops of life.

  • Lie down comfortably with muscles relaxed and legs uncrossed.
  • Talk out if the prick hurts.
  • Keep pressing the sponge ball.
  • Do not panic by the sight of blood.

Be assured by doing this you are eliminating a big mistake that people make during donation.

Mistake 7. Not resting after donation: You are inviting trouble home by waking up too early after having donated. Lie down there for a good 10 minutes. This will ensure normalisation of blood flow in the body and ensures your brain gets enough blood to control yourself. the bed is yours till you want it. Keep your arms folded and before you wake up, get the staff to put a band aid at the donation area. A good rest ensures another wrong step not taken

Mistake 8. Not consuming refreshments: Who would want to turn down a free glass of refreshing juice? You get a juice and biscuits/bananas. Take them. If not your mind, your body needs them. Your body feels replenished and gives you a feeling that everything is fine. Allow your body to signal that there is no error made by you in taking the refreshments

Mistake 9. Not taking care later: having prepared yourself before donation, taken care of yourself during donation, you are bound by continuity to take care after too.

  • Make sure you eat healthy and take in lots of fluids.
  • Avoid smoking for next few hours.
  • Alcohol for the remainder of the day
  • Staying relaxed with few physically enduring activities during the day.

Self care here is another threat nullified.

Mistake 10. Not telling others about your experience: Perhaps the biggest sin is not telling your friends and others about blood donation. Having yourself gone through those 30 minutes of a beautiful experience, it's time you tell others how you feel.Make sure others too get a feel of this, encourage and motivate them and guide them to not make the same mistakes over and over again.

Also in case you have any problems come back to us in case of any problems, give us your feedback. You can always reach us at or 9880132850!


Submitted by ankita on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 23:07


This is one article which I believe every Blood donor should read. If these 10 mistakes are avoided, nothing can go wrong.