American Red Cross in critical need

    How to prepare for donating blood

    by Tianna G. Hansen

    According to the Red Cross, every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

    To help prepare for a blood donation, I thought I would share some research with our community. 

    You can find this information and more on the Red Cross’s website ( It’s important to prepare for giving blood so you don’t feel woozy after your donation.

    Before you donate, get a good night’s rest and hydrate with extra liquids. Eat healthy, iron-rich foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins. This can help enrich your blood with necessary iron.

    If you are donating platelets, don’t take aspirin for 2 days prior to your donation.

    Please bring a photo ID – this could be a donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification. For more info, check the site. We’ll also need to know about any prescriptions you are taking; bring a medication list with you.

    Additional tips:

    • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water (or other nonalcoholic drink) before your appointment.
    • Eat a healthy meal, avoiding fatty foods like hamburgers, fries or ice cream.
    • Wear a shirt with sleeves that you can roll up above your elbows.
    • Let us know if you have a preferred arm or particular vein that has been used successfully in the past to draw blood.
    • Relax, listen to music, talk to other donors or read while you donate.

    To sign up and schedule an appointment, visit

    There are often many local blood drives hosted throughout Bucks County; keep an eye out or contact a local representative for more information.

    After donating, relax for a few minutes in the refreshment and recovery area, have some cookies or other snacks — you’ve earned it!

    The Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Blood Drive to assist the American Red Cross’s critical need for blood donations on Friday, September 10th, from 11:00am to 4:00pm, hosted at Tandium Boardroom, 409 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills.

    Donate blood to save a life!

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