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What should I do after I have given blood?

After Giving Blood

Sophie Spiegler (National Blood Service PR ) gives expert video advice on: What should I do after I have given blood?; Can I go back to work on the same day?; What should I do if I feel faint when I get home? and more...

What should I do after I have given blood?

After you've given blood, you'll be seated down and you'll be offered some nice snacks and refreshments in order to recover. Take it easy, relax, but then after about half an hour you can go along with your normal day life.

Can I go back to work on the same day?

After giving blood, you can definitely go back to work. The only time we wouldn't recommend going back to work straightaway is if you operate in a hazardous job; such as driving in the emergency services, if you're a doctor and you're going to perform an operation, or perhaps if you drive a crane. These type of jobs, we recommend you to take slightly longer to relax so that you don't cause any harm to anybody else.

What should I do if I feel faint when I get home?

When you get home, if you feel faint after giving a blood donation, sit down, put your head between your legs and breathe deeply. If there's somebody around, definitely let them know that you're feeling dizzy and then they can keep an eye on you. By all means, feel free to give us a call on our hotline and we'll be able to give you some advice. Or if you think it's really really urgent, you can call your GP for some advice.

Will I be able to smoke after giving blood?

We don't recommend that you smoke straight away after giving blood, as it may make you feel faint or slightly dizzy. We recommend you wait a couple of hours after giving blood, and after drinking lots of fluids - non-alcoholic fluids, and also having a light snack, which should bring your body back to normal. But we would not recommend smoking straight after.

Will I be able to drink alcohol after giving blood?

We wouldn't recommend drinking alcohol straight after giving a blood donation. Drinking lots of non-alcoholic fluids will definitely help to make you feel better.

Will I be able to exercise after giving blood?

We wouldn't recommend exercising immediately after giving blood. Drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids, have a light snack, relax, have a sit-down. But after an hour or so, if regular exercise is part of your daily routine, there should be absolutely nothing that prevents you from doing exercise after giving blood.

Will giving blood affect my health?

If you're a fit and healthy person, then giving blood should not affect your health in any way what so ever.

What should I do if I develop an infection after giving blood?

If you develop an infection within two weeks of giving blood, we definitely recommend that you must give us a call and let us know. If, for any other reason, you feel that your blood should not be passed on to a patient, give us a call on your National Helpline. There should be no reason why giving blood should cause an infection, but it is essential for us to know if your blood has got an infection in it.

How long will it take for my body to replenish the blood I have lost?

After you have given blood, your body will take a very, very short period of time in order to replenish the lost fluids. It will take about a month to replace the lost iron providing you eat a well, healthy balanced diet. It might take slightly longer if you are a vegetarian but it shouldn't pose any health risks to you whatsoever.