What should I do after I donate?
Keep your bandage on for the next several hours. Once you take it off, keep the area clean by washing it with soap and water. You should refrain from vigorous activities for at least 4 hours after you donate, and should be sure to stay hydrated for the next 48 hours. Consider eating foods rich in iron or vitamin C to help your body restore key nutrients.
Some donors may experience mild dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, bruising, bleeding, or pain, but these symptoms should go away fairly quickly. If you experience severe symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.
When can I donate again?
There is an ongoing need for blood, so make blood donation a regular habit. Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Regular donations from a variety of people guarantees that anyone who needs blood can get it. It also ensures that the United States has a steady supply of donor blood and there will not be a shortage.
How often you can donate depends on what kind of donation you choose. There are guidelines to be sure your body has enough time to fully recover and replenish between donations. The minimum time between donations is listed below.
- Whole blood donation: 56 days
- Platelet donation: 7 days
- Double red cell donation: 112 days
- Plasma donation: 28 days