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Thread: Does anyone else get dizzy after blood donation?

  1. #1
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    Question Does anyone else get dizzy after blood donation?

    I gave my pint this morning and am getting dizzy when going from sitting to standing, or after climbing stairs. I never workout and donate on the same day, and I've been drinking as much water and decaf iced tea as humanly possible. Just curious - does anyone else encounter this? How long does it last for you? I feel perfectly fine, just randomly and briefly dizzy.

    [Shameless Plug for Blood Donation] - my friend Kimberly and I get together every few months to donate together and go out for brunch afterewards. It allows us to catch up on each other's news and do something good at the same time. It's also a health motivator for me, since I'm sharing my good health with someone in need. So if you don't want to go by yourself, ask around - you'd be surprised at how many people will accompany you if asked!

    Back to your regularly scheduled bulletin board...

  2. #2
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    The one and only time I gave blood, yes, I got dizzy. The nice Red Cross ladies had me sit a while and drink some sugary drink and eat cookies! Have you had enough to eat since? The problem for me was (and is) I don't weigh enough to donate. Could that be your issue? Or do you have high blood pressure? Hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. #3
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    Hope you are feeling better. I think drinking a lot of fluids and getting some good food into your body will help. And the answer to your question is yes and more.

    Last time I donated, I stopped at Macy's on the way home. I felt fine when I left the Red Cross so I didn't think anything of it. As I was waiting to pay, I fainted. Out cold. Not a good thing. I haven't donated since because I am afraid to drive home. Finding someone to go with would be the perfect solution.

  4. #4
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    Oh, bless your heart memartha, I certainly weigh enough to donate! My iron was fine, I drank plenty of fluids, and I believe I've eaten enough today. Before I left I had a slice of whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a small orange, for brunch I had spinach-mushroom quiche and a side salad, and then an apple this afternoon. Right now I'm throwing together some chicken sausage, marinara, broccoli, pasta, and cheese for dinner.

    MWS, I passed out one time, too! It was in college and a friend of mine was terrified to give blood so we went together. After I finished my juice and cookies I walked over to her and said, "See? Everything's...." CLUNK! When I woke up the first thing I saw was the horrified look on her face. I felt awful! However, it has only happened once out of probably a dozen donations.

  5. #5
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    yes, I've felt dizzy afterwards - it's very typical (though I've never actually fainted, I did turn all pale-ghosty).

    I'd like to second the plea for donors -- I would LOVE to donate, but currently can't (lived too long in Europe!), so I'd love to know someone else who hasn't ever been is now going in my place!

    lynne

  6. #6
    I was not only dizzy after I gave blood, the feeling lasted for 3 days! I talked to my docter about it and he told me that some people have what he called "low blood volume" and that I should probably not donate blood anymore. The day that I gave blood I drank lots of water and ate a good breakfast & lunch before hand. I donated on a Friday and it was Monday morning before the lightheaded feeling went away. I'm afraid to donate blood again! I wish that they could take only 1/2 a pint, but the last time the Red Cross was at my work I asked about that and they told me that they are only set up to take a full pint or nothing.

    Cheryl

  7. #7
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    I have absolutely no problem. In the chair knock off a pint in about 10 minutes, slam a cookie and out the door. But I've seen MANY who get dizzy, feel faint or pass out..build doesn't seem to make any difference. I have a rare blood type, I go when they call which is like clockwork the day I can give again.
    Karen

  8. #8
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    It's pretty common to feel faint like that after you give blood - the technical term is orthostatic hypotension, and what's basically happening is that there's not enough blood (and oxygen) making its way to your brain when you stand up (think of gravity pulling it all down into your legs). Try using a multivitamin containing iron (which will increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood) and drink as much as you can in the couple of days before you give blood, as well as after.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by phantomcg
    I was not only dizzy after I gave blood, the feeling lasted for 3 days! I talked to my docter about it and he told me that some people have what he called "low blood volume" and that I should probably not donate blood anymore.
    I won't donate blood because I think I have this problem. I will get dizzy, look pale, etc after having blood taken by the DR. One time I had 1 large vial and 2 small ones drawn at the same time: dizzy, pale, headache, felt weak and that lasted for the rest of the day. Even having only 1 small vial takes affects me.

    No way am I going to give a whole pint. I'd be useless for a week.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  10. #10
    i wont donate either because, well i pass out.

    last time i gave blood, it was just a little drawn for a blood test. i walked out of the room into the hospital hallway and fell down and smacked my head on the floor. not fun. i almost faint at the thought of blood being sucked from my body!

  11. #11
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    another fainter here...

    Of course, I decided to donate blood for the first time on my 2nd day of work at a new job. The company was having a blood drive and since all I had to do that day was more orientation-type activities, I figured I'd do a good deed. I made it all the way through the donation and while I was waiting for the little band-aid... out cold. It took a good four hours until my blood pressure got back up to a normal enough level for them to let me go back to my desk.

    On the bright side, I went from being "the new girl" to "the girl that passed out at the blood drive".
    I don't need time. What I need is a deadline.
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  12. #12
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    I normally do very well giving blood, but the last time about 3 hours after giving I got sooo dizzy. I went into an empty office, closed the door and sat for about 40 mins. I felt much better after that. I hate that dizzy feeling.
    I've also learned from a past experience I can't give right after my monthly visitor. I almost past out in the chair. Might it have been to close to that for you stefania?
    Bakers have the best buns.
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  13. #13
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    Last summer, as I was in the chair, a man who had just given blood got up to leave, his eyes rolled back and he passed out! I had never seen anyone faint before-- he turned a weird grey color and he was out cold for a few seconds. It caused quite a stir. I have never fainted, but one time I started feeling pleasantly intoxicated as I was resting. The nurse asked how I was doing and I brightly replied, "Oh, I have a very nice buzz, thank you!" That brought a flurry of nurses and I had to lie down for a few minutes, despite my protests that I was fine.

    When I lived in Hungary, I gave blood. The post donation snack was wienies and either Pepsi or BEER!!!
    Lucinda

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Lucinda
    When I lived in Hungary, I gave blood. The post donation snack was wienies and either Pepsi or BEER!!!
    That's hilarious! I'm trying to imagine the little Red Cross fridge stocked with OJ, apple juice, Zima, and Miller (and the little old volunteers saying, "Have a brewski, dear.").

    My problem isn't that I get dizzy at the donation site, it's that for about 12 hours after I donate I'm randomly donate. I usually have low blood pressure, so maybe that's a factor?

    I guess it's just something I'm going to have to plan around - have my fiance drop me off and pick me up, and plan close-to-home activities that day. It's only one day every few months, and since I'm CMV negative (newborns and chemo patients can use my blood) I don't want to stop donating.

  15. #15
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    I feel so dumb but I just can't seem to get over the fact that there's a blasted needle in my arm and a bag getting full of my blood so every time I donate I feel faint and sick while it's happening. The last time they yanked everything out, then came back to tell me that "we have a problem" I'm thinking that something awful has been discovered. Then she says "well were alittle short, and the pint has to be a pint. But all we need is just a vile". I was so relieved that was all that was wrong. I said jeez go ahead take it, after all this is why I came. I asked why do I always feel so sick while giving, and I was told that my breathing pattern changes where I start taking shorter breaths. I thought I was fine just laying there and thinking of dinner duh but no this happens everytime and I really hate it. I want to donate but it takes me longer to go back because of having this experience. Afterwards I feel like I've been run over.
    The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance, and even our very existence depends on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives

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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by stefania4
    It's only one day every few months, and since I'm CMV negative (newborns and chemo patients can use my blood) I don't want to stop donating.
    I'm CMV negative too! So I feel a few hours of me feeling dizzy that I'm still way better off than the folks that are getting my blood--it's totally worth it to me.
    Bakers have the best buns.
    "Cookie Bearchild" by Boyds Bear

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by stefania4
    . . .since I'm CMV negative (newborns and chemo patients can use my blood) I don't want to stop donating.
    What is CMV negative? I don't think I have ever heard that term before!
    Lucinda

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Lucinda
    What is CMV negative? I don't think I have ever heard that term before!
    At least half the toddler population gets a mild, flu-like illness. It's cytomegalovirus and (CMV) it causes no harm beyond a few days of feeling a little under the weather.

    However, once you've had CMV you retain an antibody for it in your blood. That antibody is a problem for people with compromised or underdeveloped immune systems - newborns, chemo patients, HIV patients, etc. So while CMV-positive blood is usable by some people, only CMV-negative can be used for those special populations.

    My Mom said "Heaven knows you caught every other cold and flu when you were little, I don't know how you missed that one." But since I did, I feel obligated to share.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by stefania4
    However, once you've had CMV you retain an antibody for it in your blood. That antibody is a problem for people with compromised or underdeveloped immune systems - newborns, chemo patients, HIV patients, etc. So while CMV-positive blood is usable by some people, only CMV-negative can be used for those special populations.
    That is so interesting! Thank you for the explanation-- I really like learning something new every day.
    Lucinda

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