Follow these tips on post-donation care for a smooth recovery and to help you get ready for your next blood donation.
To help you stay well after you have given blood, we recommend the following:
- Keep the bandage on for at least 4 hours after donation.
- Have something to eat and drink at the refreshment area before leaving.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks until the next day.
- Eat food rich in iron and take iron supplements.
A small minority of donors may feel light-headed or weak, or experience anxiety, giddiness or nausea after blood donation. To reduce the risk of fainting, we advise that you:
- Rest at least 20 minutes at the blood bank after donation.
- Drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic drinks after donation.
- Do not smoke for at least an hour after donation.
- Avoid standing for long periods and strenuous exercise until the next day.
If you feel faint
If you feel faint or weak during or after your donation, please inform our staff immediately.
If you feel faint after leaving the blood bank or mobile drive, we advise you to:
- Sit or lie down immediately for at least 30 minutes until you feel well.
- Drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic drinks.
- Not drive in the next 6 hours.
If symptoms persist or get worse, call 995 (ambulance) to get help.
Some donors develop mild bruising at the needle insertion site (where the blood was drawn). Most bruises are not serious and generally disappear within a week.
Large bruises or swelling are less common and may take a few weeks to completely disappear.
To minimize the risk of bruising or swelling, you should:
- Apply firm pressure on the needle insertion site for at least 5 minutes after the needle is removed.
- Limit the use of your ‘donation arm’ for the first 15 to 20 minutes after donating blood.
- Keep the bandage on your arm for the next 4 hours.
- Avoid or minimize the use of the ‘donation arm’ for heavy work or strenuous activities for the next 48-72 hours.
In case of bleeding or bruising
If bleeding or a bruising develops after you have left the blood bank or mobile drive:
- Apply firm pressure on the needle insertion site and lift your arm above your shoulder for at least 20 minutes.
- Once the bleeding stops, apply an ice pack on the affected area up to 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day for the next 24 to 48 hours. Wrap the ice pack in a moist cloth first before applying it to your skin.
- If the blood bank nurse gives you a cream to heal the bruise, you can apply it on the bruised area (avoiding the needle insertion site) 24 to 48 hours after blood donation.
Please call us at 6213 0626 if you need additional advice.
Illness, pain or swelling after donation
Consult your doctor or proceed to the nearest polyclinic or hospital if you experience the following after leaving the blood bank or mobile drive:
- Severe pain in donation arm.
- Persistent numbness in the donation arm, hands or fingers.
- Large swelling that is increasing in size or painful to touch.
Call the blood bank immediately at 1800-226 3320 (24-hours) if:
You feel that we should not give your blood to a patient.
You develop any of the following symptoms:
- Body ache
- Sore throat
- Persistent cough