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donate blood regularly
A question about this goal: I always almost faint when I give blood is there any way around this? February 25th, 2006 16:19


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Maybe it’s psychological? What you should remember is that the people are trained professionals who know what they’re doing. That’s been enough for me to feel fine. Congrats for trying! If only more people went.

no it is psychological, I’m trying to see if anyone else has this problem and has any tricks to get over it.

Some people are just not wired to lose that much blood. Some people there’s no changing it. But if you want to try again, make sure you drink your 64 oz of water in the day before you go, and then stay lying down in the bed for awhile afterwards… read a book or watch TV, if your donation center has that. You can even have them bring you the cookies and juice right there in your bed. Then when you are ready to get up, go have more cookies and juice. If the fainting is a passing thing, that should get rid of it. If your body is hardwired to detest losing its fluids, you’ll know by then.

Shannon just me...less extraordinary...more plain ole me.

You may just be on of those folks who feel faint when donating. Some do. Does distraction work? how about music? A good book?

I couldn’t say…I’ve never felt the slightest bit faint giving blood.
I usually do “total aphorisis” which involved separating the
platelets from the rest of the bloodand returning everything but
theplatelets and adding some nutrients back into my system. I
actually feel better after donating blood…I watch a movie while I
donate so I feel more relaxed. Make sure you have lots of natural
vitamins before you donate…something like a glass of orange juice.
If you feel faint donating plasma or going to the regular traveling
blood drives try contacting hospitals in your area or the Red Cross to
see where you’d have to go to donate platelets, I find that a much
more pleasant proceedure. I used to go to the donation center for The
New England Medical Center but here in Atlanta the closest place is
through the Red Cross. Hospital blood banks tend to have nicer
facilities than the Red Cross. Good luck!


i used to feel faint, but now i drink plenty of water the day before. last time i downed 3litres on the day before my donation, and another 1 litre on the day. also be sure to eat before you go, and drink plenty of fruit juice afterwards!

It is probably not psychological. At least, in my experience as a person who faints when giving 1 cc of blood but can be perfectly calm while having blood pour out of a gashed toe, the psychological explanation has never made any sense to me.

I have found that I will invariably faint upon having any amount of blood taken from the crook of my elbow, unless I am a. laying down or b. heavily pregnant. Also, my veins close up, which is consistent with a general shock reaction. I believe what’s probably going on is that the body’s sensors to detect catastrophic blood loss are just way too sensitive in some people.

I do not donate blood - being unable to give 1 cc for a blood test without passing out and then throwing up kind of rules that out - but when I need to give blood for a blood test, I make sure I am laying down, I ask to sip water after it’s over, I stay laying down for a while after the blood draw, and then I immediately eat something. And it still gives me the shakes and makes me tired all day. This doesn’t happen when I give blood through the veins in my hand, but that’s excruciatingly painful so I don’t suggest it.

Many people believe this is a psychological reaction, but I don’t buy it. The first time this ever happened to me, I was calm, relaxed and interested, and had had blood taken before with no problems… but I’d just hit puberty. Now I have psychological problems with giving blood, but that’s because I know it will make me sick. A psychological reaction also wouldn’t explain why it doesn’t affect me when taken from my hand.

Sorry to say, if this happens to you—don’t give blood unless you have to. If laying down doesn’t help you, I don’t think there’s a way around it. Relaxing and thinking about something else does not work, because it’s not a psychological problem, it’s physiological.

KaliTime Camaralzman is knitting and crocheting like a mad woman. Argh!

A bit of a cheesy reference but I remember an episode of Law and Order:CI where a suspect had a problem looking at anything even remotely like blood. He would go into seizures and pass out. He wasn’t afraid, he just had a neurological condition.

I don’t know how medically accurate that show is but they said on there that it had something to do with him having a rare condition involving his Vagus Nerve.

I also don’t know if this is what’s happening with you but it might be something to look into if it is a real medical reference.

This is all I could find via Professor Answers but it seems like a genuine issue and in some of the other articles I’ve read, it did mention the shock at seeing blood as being a cause.

Some people can’t stand to lose 300 ml of blood in one go. A way around this is to donate platelets instead of donating blood. That is, they draw the blood, remove the platelets for donation and reinject your blood into you. That way you don’t have the same level of impact.

Other important stuff:
Take as long as you need to get out of bed.
Eat regular, nutritious meals for a day or two before donating.
And sip a vitamin drink during and after donation and while waiting to get out of bed.

Also, get checked up to make sure you don’t suffer from anaemia or blood pressure problems.

Good luck!

Manda is house-sitting!

I got real nauseaus near the end of my blood donation when I had been fine the entire time. I tried to get up felt faint and hot and sick. I don’t think it’s psychological really. You would think your body would react to blood loss in some form or another. I however, do not think it’s a reason not to donate. I know I may feel faint but I think you should rest as long as you need to afterwards. Don’t get up too quickly and try to get lots of vitamins and enough sugar before and after. I think all those things, along with eating well the few days before really helps. I mean with me, near the end I even watched the blood going through the tube into the bag. Try whatever works for you here. You’ve got a lot of good suggestions. Good luck :)

I’m not sure apheresis (the platelet thing) will be best for you, because they wouldn’t even let me do it since I’m barely within the weight limit to donate at all.

If you really want to continue donating, take all the advice these other kind people have provided, and:
-remember to get a good night’s sleep and avoid caffeine or other stimulants
-try to increase your iron intake just before donating (fortified cereals, nuts, lean meats, shrimp, beans, etc.)
-tell the technicians that you are concerned about fainting; they will know the best donation process for you and keep a close eye on you
-keep a cup of water with a lid and straw to sip on while you donate and ask for refills if you run out
-stay reclined for a while after your needle is removed (like 5-10 minutes) and then stay sitting up for about twice that amount of time before you try to walk anywhere
-after you sit up, try doing some little motions with your feet and legs to get the blood flowing back toward your heart/head (venous pumping relies heavily on skeletal muscles to return blood to the heart)

I’m very interested in this problem. I used to give blood for years and years without any problem. I was a champ!

In the last 5 years or so, I have felt extremely faint (or have actually passed out) every time I give. Have I just been dehydrated for several years? It’s really perplexing because I like to donate but now I’m getting a little more freaked out each time because of the ordeal. The last time I was afraid to drive home because of my severe light-headedness.

I have this same exact problem, I at one time thought it was due to a low blood sugar, but i recently came to the conclusion that perhaps it is due to the fact that i have low blood pressure. I believe low blood pressure is not that uncommon for thin people such as myself.

I pass out every time i get blood tests, it’s very anoying. I feel fine, i feel fine, and then all of a sudden i just feel a rush of panic, jitteryness, i feel cold, clammy, my head pounds, my ears burn then the lights just get dark and then boom. I wake up in the middle of the room with all of the nurses freaking out all around me. I have found laying down and being put on oxygen has worked best, however i still passed out, it was more of a small pass-out. lol.

You probably suffer from what is called “vasovagal syncope”. You may be able to avoid this by getting injections/giving blood while lying down, with your legs elevated. It also helps to not look at the needle.

I have a very simliar problem and it has beenbugging me. I don’t doncate blood, but almost everytime I get blood work- I pass out!! I getthe nauseous feeling, get hot, and then I’m out.

I have a higj tolerance for pain, I’ve had shots in tha past. Needles don’t really botherme, I look away each time, but I still pass out. No one has been able to help me and tell me why or give viable suggestions. All I get is “it happens sometimes”.

Any suggestions on how to stop this- my husband has to take off work everytime because I can’t go myswlf now. It make me feel so vunerable and unable to take care of something so simple.

Help anyone??

I have given blood twice and this kind of happened to me. I’ve never passed out, but I had all of the other symptoms. The first time it happened, I thought it was because I was dehydrated, so the second time, I drank 3 16Liter bottles of water. Still happened, but was actually worse and came on faster. They also put my chair back farther and gave me a cold drink and compresses before they stuck me. I never had a problem with needles, but I do have problems with anxiety especially when I am anticipating certain things and have come to the conclusion that it was anxiety. However, it doesn’t feel LIKE anxiety. My best description is a heavy heartbeat kind of anxiety and then the sickness, but when going through it, you’re not thinking “Man, I need to calm down!” They seem completely separate from one another but I think the one is a reaction to the other. One thing that did help me, at least afterwards, was getting up on the chair a little bit. 2 times they had to relower my chair because sitting up wasn’t working so well, but I felt perfectly fine reclined. I asked to sit up my body instead of the chair and somehow getting my stomach out of that position worked like magic. If all else fails, maybe you can find a blood buddy!

chromagirly is working.

I was looking for info on this same thing when I came across your post. I almost passed out and had to lie down in the hallway at work to stay conscious (that’ll do wonders for your humility). I’m wondering if maybe my blood pressure is too low. It’s like 90/60. (Some websites say that this is too low to be eligible.) I had no problem giving - gave my pint in 8.5 minutes. I did over-exert a little afterwards, so maybe that was the problem. I’ll have to take more care next time. Isn’t blood donation a wonder - people lining up to be stuck with needles to give their blood to total strangers. People don’t suck. (Phlebotomists do though - ha ha - it’s a pun.)

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