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Fainting advice for donors

Occasionally a donor feels sick, dizzy or faint after giving blood. On rare occasions they may actually faint.

What to do if you feel unwell after a donation

Staff at the donor clinic will take care of you if you feel faint during or after the donation. Please tell us straight away if you have any symptoms of dizziness, sickness or feeling faint.

If you feel faint or dizzy after you leave the clinic you should:

  • Sit down or lie down immediately. Try to elevate your legs. If sitting, lower your head.
  • If possible, ask a friend or relative to keep an eye on you.
  • Wait for your symptoms to settle before getting up slowly.
  • Take it easy for the rest of the day. Avoid strenuous exercise or prolonged periods of standing.
  • Avoid hot baths/showers or rooms that are too hot.

Most people who have felt unwell after donating are able to donate again without any problems.

Can I donate again if I’ve fainted or felt unwell after a donation?

Here are some tips for preventing a faint:

  • Have plenty to eat and drink before you come along. Drink further fluids at the clinic before donation will also help.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes and make sure you have nothing too tight around your arm.
  • Have a good night’s sleep before coming to donate.
  • Make sure you are not too rushed or wanting to get away quickly from the clinic after donating.
  • Donating should not be painful, so always tell the staff if you find it uncomfortable while you are giving blood.

 

After donating

  • Avoid strenuous exercise or prolonged standing.
  • Avoid excess alcohol, as it will add to the effects of losing a unit of blood.
  • For smokers, avoid smoking for at least two hours.
  • Avoid hot baths/showers or rooms that are too hot.

 

Getting help

Please let us know if you feel unwell after a donation by calling us on: 0800 252 266 or emailing: donors@wales.nhs.uk

If you need immediate help or advice contact your GP or call NHS Direct Wales.

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