American Red Cross tips for good donation experience

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Local communities are sponsoring upcoming blood drives to offer a way for people to give blood to those in need.

From noon to 5:45 p.m. today (Wednesday), a blood drive will be held at the Evart United Methodist Church, located at 619 Cherry St. in Evart. From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Jan 1, a blood drive will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 19778 US 10.

To help donors succeed in blood donation, the American Red Cross is offering tips to ensure a positive donation experience.

Planning ahead is one way to take the stress out of holiday gift giving. And when you plan to give the gift of life through the American Red Cross, you can make the most of your donation experience by following a few simple tips.

“A lot of people say preparing for a great donation experience is just like preparing for a big event,” said Todd Kulman, Communications Program Manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “That’s true, because helping to save a life is a truly remarkable thing to do.”

Getting a good night’s sleep, having a good breakfast or lunch, and drinking extra water and fluids can help ensure a successful blood donation.

Donors are also advised to avoid eating fatty foods, and to eat plenty of food rich in iron and Vitamin C in the days leading up to the donation.

Wearing comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow is also recommended.

“We also suggest that you spend 10 to 15 minutes relaxing in the refreshment area after your donation,” said Kulman “It’s a way for you to rejuvenate by enjoying a drink and a snack, and to meet other donors who just helped save lives, too.”

Donating blood is simple, and takes about an hour from the time you arrive until the time you leave.

That’s an hour, Red Cross officials say, that could amount to a lifetime for someone who needs blood for ongoing or emergency medical care.

“Blood is a gift that money can’t buy,” said Kulman. “It’s only something that one person can give to another. And that’s priceless.”