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Donating blood is a voluntary procedure that can help save the lives of many people. People require blood every second for medical emergencies such as surgery, traumatic injuries and chronic illnesses. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), blood donations provide hope and a better quality of life for patients with chronic diseases.
Donating blood is a simple and safe way to make a huge difference in people's lives. If you have decided to donate blood and don't know what to expect before, during and after blood donation. We will guide you as to what to do.
What To Do Before Blood Donation
At least a few weeks before you donate blood, ensure that you are eating a healthy amount of iron-rich foods such as seafood, meat, spinach, beans, and sweet potatoes. This will prevent the risk of having low haemoglobin levels  .
Before you donate blood, you will be asked to fill out a form that has questions about your medical history. This includes whether you have any risk of blood-borne infections, if you are taking any kind of medications, or if you have any nutrient deficiency and so on.
After which, a blood sample will be collected from you to rule out any unwanted conditions such as anaemia or blood pressure. If your blood sample turns out positive, the doctor will allow you to donate blood.
What To Do During Blood Donation 
You will be asked to sit or lie down comfortably. An antiseptic solution will be used to clean your arm and a blood pressure cuff will be placed around your upper arm to fill your veins with more blood and make it visible.
Then, a sterile needle is inserted into the vein in your arm, which has a plastic tube attached to it that will help draw blood into the blood bag. Only about 400 ml of blood is extracted from the body and this whole process takes about 15 minutes After it's complete, the needle is removed and a small bandage is placed on the area.
What To Do After Blood Donation 
After you have donated blood, keep your arm extended facing upwards to avoid bruising, swelling, blood clot and pain. You can eat a light snack if you want and avoid performing any physical activity in the next 24 hours.
Your blood levels will get back to normal after 2-3 weeks. So, therefore to help your body recover quickly here are some tips to follow after donating blood.
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid fatty foods
- Be happy and stay positive
- Wear comfortable clothes
- If you feel dizziness, discomfort or pain, consult a doctor immediately.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
-  Eshan U. Patel, Jodie L. White, Evan M. Bloch, Mary K. Grabowski, Eric A. Gehrie, Parvez M. Lokhandwala, Patricia A. R. Brunker, Ruchika Goel, Beth H. Shaz, Paul M. Ness, Aaron A. R. Tobian. Association of blood donation with iron deficiency among adolescent and adult females in the United States: a nationally representative study. Transfusion, 2019;
-  Verma, S., Sharma, R. K., Sharma, M., & Pugazhendi, S. (2016). Voluntary Blood Donation: Attitude and Practice among Indian Adults. J Community Med Health Educ, 6(436), 2161-0711.