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Health Tip: Donating Blood

Be prepared

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- Typically, you must be at least 17 years old and meet a few health criteria to donate blood. If you're able, it's a great way to help save lives.

The American Red Cross offers this advice on what to expect:

  • One blood donation can help save the lives of three other people. The donation procedure is safe and easy.
  • While the donation itself only takes about 10 minutes, expect to be at the donation center for about an hour.
  • Prepare for donation by making sure you're well-hydrated. Eat a nutritious meal, skipping any foods that are high in fat.
  • Make sure your shirt sleeves can be rolled up above the elbows.
  • Bring your driver's license or a donor ID card.
  • If you're 16 and donating in a state that allows it, bring signed parental consent. Also bring a list of any medications you take.
  • If you're feeling sick beforehand, reschedule the donation.


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