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How to prepare to donate blood

Healthy individuals are needed every day to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need. Once a donor has made the commitment to give blood, it's important to take a few simple steps to prepare and to help ensure a good donation experi...

Healthy individuals are needed every day to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in need. Once a donor has made the commitment to give blood, it's important to take a few simple steps to prepare and to help ensure a good donation experience.

The Red Cross recommends:

  •  Getting a good night's sleep.
  •  Eating a good breakfast or lunch.
  •  Drinking extra water and fluids to help replace the volume you will donate.
  •  Avoiding caffeinated beverages.
  •  Eating iron-rich foods to boost your iron level.

"Donating blood is an easy way to help others and only takes about an hour of your time," said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. "The Red Cross encourages donors to give blood each time they are eligible; every 56 days up to six times per year for whole blood donations and every 112 days up to three times per year for double red cell donations."
Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Douglas County include:

Monday and Tuesday, December 27-28 - noon to 6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Street, Alexandria.

To donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.

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All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

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