Pre-donation information

To ensure you are eligible and safe to donate blood, we recommend you follow the advice below before your blood donation. Unless specified to you before your appointment, please ensure you:

Eat

To ensure you do not feel lightheaded or dizzy after your donation, please eat regularly before your blood donation to keep your blood sugar levels high. It will help to have a snack before you donation, however, complimentary snacks are provided for after. Foods high in iron will also keep you feeling well both during and after your donation. These include foods such as:

  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Seafoods
  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli
  • Fruits such as strawberries and dried fruits
  • Beans and other foods including tofu, tomato products e.g. pastes and lentils

Drink

It is important that you are well hydrated in the days leading up to your donation. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to drink at least 500mls of water. This will compensate for the fluid that is lost during the donation, preventing a drop in blood pressure and ensuring you do not feel faint or dizzy. It is also important that you drink plenty of fluids afterwards, at least 2 litres throughout the day. You must avoid drinking alcohol prior to your appointment and will be tested for this during pre-screening. It is recommended that you also avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine intake for 24 hours after your donation.

Other important advice we recommend includes:

Avoiding vigorous exercise on the day of your donation – we encourage you to rest both before and after your donation to allow your body to replenish. Light exercise such as walking is fine, but we would discourage you from activities such as gym or sports for the remainder of the day after donating.
Wear clothing with loose sleeves – this will allow easy access to your veins and ensure you are comfortable

Prior to your donation you will have a private, one-to-one consultation with a member of our team. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask our call our office before your appointment on 0207 870 3742.

More information: