Giving blood

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Giving blood

Postby lobstermash » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:04 pm

Hi guys, I used to be a regular blood donor, but it fell off a few years back. Three months ago I kicked it off again and I'm booked in to donate this week. After the last one, I rode my normal commute at the normal speed and felt pretty much fine. However the next week I got quite sick from a throat infection. It could well be a coincidence, but I'm wondering if any others regularly give blood and have some exercise/recovery tips.

I pretty much don't want to stop riding to work (36km round trip), as it's the fastest and cheapest way to get there. I'm planning on just taking it easy for a few days, but I guess I'm hoping to get some indication of how long I should take it easy...

PS I'm 29 (for a couple more months, anyway), male, fit and eat a healthy, well balanced diet.
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by BNA » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:10 pm

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Re: Giving blood

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:10 pm

I'll be interested to see the responses, I've been thinking about this recently. In reality my phobia of needles is more of a factor though.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby lobstermash » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:18 pm

Promise it doesn't hurt...
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Re: Giving blood

Postby sogood » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:29 pm

Assuming you are of average build and weight, the 500ml removed is pretty trivial (1/10 of your blood volume) and you just need to drink and replace the fluid and eat well (especially iron). If you are healthy and eat well normally, you should have enough store of iron and associated nutrients for the replacement. I think you experienced a coincidental event.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:00 pm

Nearly 30 years now.
Drink lots in the hours leading up to it, take it easy for a couple of hours afterwards. No tea or coffee in the recovery area, just juice. Eat a little bit. Shiny.

@LDR. Do It! My old man started me off and he's a complete needlephobe, when I put an 8cm gash in my left calf at ~9yo (fell off the top of an under construction house skeleton) he fainted when Casualty doc put the local (all 10 hits) in. The most painful part of the procedure is the haemoglobin fingerprick. Seriously. It is also believed that the regular bloodletting is good for men not to mention the inner glow that comes with doing a huge service for others.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby jcjordan » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:04 pm

I use to be a regular don't but fell off for a couple of years due to work travel.

When I went back they wanted me to get a doctors clearance for every donation due to my low resting heart rate. Became such a hassle I gave up.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby nezumi » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:10 pm

If possible, I'd recommend a lunch time or morning donation if you intend to ride home. Give your body the maximum time to recover.

I donate semi-regularly. They will ask about your pulse, since it will likely be low - mine was 49 last week, after commuting by bike for ~4 months.

Other than that, do it. For whole blood it's only 4 times a year, and you get cookies. :D
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Re: Giving blood

Postby rolandp » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:58 am

I give platelets or plasma, so I can give once a month. I always walk in with cycling shoes and gear and are always (correctly) questioned how far I will be riding home (23km). I explain that this is my daily commute and they have allowed this for me for 8 odd years. Just under 100 donations.

They indicate not to do heavy exercise after a donation, so I always take it slow.

If in doubt, don't ride home. But if you can donate, do, as the numbers who do are small.

I also have a 'special' blood that can be given to new born when they have a particular medical condition. I've only had 1 call in 18 months, but when you get it, I personally arrange my schedule to donate.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby CXCommuter » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:19 am

I was a regular full blood donor- huge issues with iron stores and anaemia (other minor issues also caused the issues with iron). I have discussed this before but too lazy to find it. Most people appear to be okay but some like me have issues (and no I am not female!!). Iron levels should be back to normal now and looking at giving plasma etc not full blood as per docs orders.

BTW low iron stores and anaemia are insidious as the symptoms creep up on you and you don't realise until looking back how carp you feel.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby lobstermash » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:49 am

sogood wrote: I think you experienced a coincidental event.


You're probably right (though don't try and tell my wife that...). I'll take it easy for a couple of days anyway just in case.

I used to not think my blood donations were anything special, as I've got boring old A+. However over the last 18 months, my son has been having immunoglobulin as part of his monthly treatment for a rare disease. Each treatment is concentrated blood product from about 120 donors.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby cp123 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:19 am

Hi lobster - I donate regularly too - but on the days I do i find the ride home from work is usually a bit blah. I usually book an appointment in town on the mobile bus at lunch time. I mean i still do it, but tend to just dribble home. Once or twice i've gotten 3/4s of the way home and started to run out of juice but haven't ever carked it or fainted or anything.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby im_no_pro » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:20 am

IME of donating both whole blood & plasma that im right as rain within 30 mins of walking out provided I have had plenty of water and a decent feed prior. In saying that ive never gone out and pushed myself post donation either, mine are usually late in the day.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby skull » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:19 pm

I tried. My blood isn't good enough. Something to do with low heamoglobin or heamocrit count.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby sogood » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:28 pm

Think of it this way. Pro cyclists get a significant performance boost with just one similar bag of blood as what's taken out. So yes, there will be a temporary performance drop, but mostly notably from the 10% fluid loss. So as Shaun said, pre and post hydration is important to minimise any issues. Red cells die on a regular cycle is the body and it's hardly an issue when you donate them. The body will make it up very quickly as long as you have a good nutritional store.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby 17sjs » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:15 pm

Blood donation is one of those things I'd love to do - unfortunately spending time in the UK in the late 80s rules me out on the chance I might have mad cow disease. Moooooost unfortunate.

Hopefully when I kick the bucket they'll accept my organs at least.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby Sweeper59 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:13 pm

I get a little cranky with healthy people who DON'T donate blood, and leave it to the small number of regular donors. I've read recently that only 1 in 30 people donate blood, yet almost everyone of us will either require a blood transfusion during our lives, or a family member will. I'm betting that those who claim to 'dislike needles' will have no hesitation putting out their arm if they require blood in life-saving situation.

My Dad donated blood over 170 times in his life, and he encouraged me to do the same. I got to 45 donations, before being diagnosed with leukemia recently. I have now got both of my sons donating regularly to carry on the family tradition. My father even had dogs that donated blood! (I bet no-one ever considered where blood for vetinary operations came from :shock: )

The Blood Bank is a lot more flexible these days than they used to be. I used to make appointments for around 6pm, which meant I could go to the gym after work before giving blood, or I could ride the next morning without any problems. I once made the mistake of giving blood then going straight out to play 6-a-side soccer - not something I would recommend.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby DaveOZ » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:18 pm

I can't donate blood because I've had a heart attack and I'm on Warfarin. It's one of the few things I can't do.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby trailgumby » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:12 pm

I did it once a long time ago. I felt lethargic and hung over for almost a full week afterwards. I have to confess this was a major turnoff and I've not been back.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby Robinho » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:39 pm

I used to give blood regularly in the UK and always felt fine afterwards. I did tend to take it slightly easy until the next day, but I am sure I would have been fine with a leisurely ride. I tended to avoid booking in anything up to a month before I was doing a half marathon run, but other than that it didn't affect anything I did. Unfortunately I am not allowed to give blood here as we've all got mad cow disease or something

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Re: Giving blood

Postby DavidS » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:34 pm

I seem to have dropped off giving blood, my problem was waiting in the queue rather than the time to give blood. Must get back to it, not enough of us give blood. Need to make the time. I probably gave blood 30 times before I dropped off but will do it again.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:55 pm

trailgumby wrote:I did it once a long time ago. I felt lethargic and hung over for almost a full week afterwards. I have to confess this was a major turnoff and I've not been back.

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Re: Giving blood

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:24 am

DavidS wrote:I seem to have dropped off giving blood, my problem was waiting in the queue rather than the time to give blood. Must get back to it, not enough of us give blood. Need to make the time. I probably gave blood 30 times before I dropped off but will do it again.

DS


I was surprised last time around, which was my first donation for a couple of years, when I was initially told they were appointment only. They did have a spare station and took my blood anyway, but they turned away a number of other people while I was there. But I guess appointment only doesn't work everywhere... In Canberra, I think most public service departments encourage employees to donate and allow them to do it during office hours.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:08 pm

Just got back from the donation. The needle they used this time was much bigger than I remember (from 12 weeks ago), but it still didn't hurt.

Now apparently there is a big shortage of plasma donors in Australia, to the point where around 30% of plasma of the plasma used for medications in Australia is imported. No wonder that component of my son's treatment is only approved by the Red Cross on a six month cycle...
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Re: Giving blood

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:10 pm

Been a blood donor for decades and decades so I think I have fair grasp on what is required of me after donating.

In my experience they give advice to me not to do anything strenuous in the context that I do not normally do anything strenuous which, for most if my life, is clearly not the case. They are probably not allowed to deviate form the script at all.

In all my years and my hundrend and something donations, prolly thirty full blood, I have simply carried on after in, more or less, the same way that I would have anyway. I just don't make my self work harder. The only incident I have EVER had is once when the vein in the arm popped the bandaid dressing while I was picking up my free piece of fruit cake and I spurted a good few mls of blood over their floor. A nurse reapplied bandaid with a dressing and carried on with my life. (Now days they put an overdressing on anyway.)

Follow their advice on eating and drinking beforehand. And have that bit of cake and a decent drink of water afterwards. Otherwise just be moderate - where moderate is something like your normal rate of exercise and activity and not that of your neighbours lazy kids or of dear old aunty in the retirement home. I suspect that you will have the same outcomes as I.
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Re: Giving blood

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:17 pm

Following on from Lobstermash' comments, Plasma donations (phoresis) enable you to give them what they need more often and with less loss of fluid/blood pressure for yourself - win-win. However, if yoo are whole-blood donor they may or nmay not suggest it as a more valued option so ask about it if you are not yet doing the plasma phoresis thing.
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