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Before and after you donate blood

Donating blood in Australia is extremely safe. You can make it even safer and easier by making sure you’re healthy and have plenty to eat and drink before and after.

You can’t donate on the day if you have:

  • A cold or flu
  • Had an upset stomach in the past week
  • Been to the dentist recently

If so, just call us on 13 14 95 and we’ll book you in for another time.

Before you donate

The day before

  • Drink up! Your blood volume goes down a little when you donate. Drink plenty of fluids the day before, especially in warm weather.
  • Eat something salty in the 24 hours before. Increasing your salt intake will help you restore your blood volume more rapidly after you donate. You lose about three grams of salt with each donation, so this is your chance to eat something salty, like chips or pretzels, guilt-free.
  • Write down or remember any medications you’re currently taking.
  • Get your ID together. You’ll need to bring one or more documents to your appointment that, when combined, show at least three of these:
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Home address
    • Signature
    • Photo (if possible)

In the 3 hours before

  • For a plasma or platelet donation, have 3 large glasses of water in the 3 hours prior to your appointment. For whole blood donation, have 2 large glasses of water in the 3 hours prior, and another 2 glasses when you arrive.
  • Eat something. Go for savoury and salty foods.

After you donate

For the first 2 hours

  • Avoid smoking.

In the next 6 hours

  • Drink at least 3 good-sized glasses of water.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise like riding, jogging or going to the gym .
  • Don’t stand for long periods. Avoid long queues or standing on crowded public transport.
  • Try not to overheat. Stay away from hot showers, sitting or standing in direct sun, and hot drinks.

For at least 8 hours

  • Avoid alcohol. Save any celebratory drinks for later!

If you feel unwell after you donate, or have any questions, just call us on 13 14 95.

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