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After Donating Blood

After donating, you sit in an observation area, where you rest and eat a light snack. After 15 minutes, you can leave. After your blood donation:

  • Drink extra fluids.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for about five hours.
  • If you feel lightheaded, lie down with your feet up until the feeling passes.
  • Keep your bandage on and dry for the next five hours.
  • If you have bleeding after removing the bandage, put pressure on the site and raise your arm until the bleeding stops.
  • If bruising occurs, apply a cold pack to the area periodically during the first 24 hours.
  • Consider adding iron-rich foods to your diet to replace the iron lost with blood donation.

Contact the blood donor center or your health care provider if you:

  • Forgot to report any important health information to the blood donation center.
  • Have signs and symptoms of an illness, such as a fever, within several days after your blood donation.
  • Are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 48 hours after donating blood.