What you need to know after you donate blood.

After your donation:

  • Leave your bandage on for at least four hours. If you see any new bleeding, apply pressure for 2-5 minutes and replace the bandage for an additional four hours.
  • Eat and drink something before leaving. Drink extra fluidsfor the next three days to help replace the fluid volume lost with your donation. It is especially important to drink extra fluids in the first 4 hours following a donation.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for twelve hours. This will help prevent bruising, help the needle site heal, and allow your body to readjust to the blood loss.
  • Bruising, or discoloration of the skin, is normal following blood donation. Bruising occurs when blood is under the skin resulting in black, blue or brownish green discoloration. No treatment is necessary. The bruise should disappear on its own.

Special instructions: Call the Donor Services Nurse at (206) 398-5999 if you have questions

  • If you experience discomfort (pain, tenderness or swelling) at the venipuncture site, apply a cold compress for 20 minutes, 4 times a day for the first 2 days to decrease swelling and pain, then apply a warm compress for 20 minutes, 4 times a day to promote healing until the discomfort has resolved.
  • If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness or feel like you are going to faint, sit down with your head between your knees or lie down with your legs elevated as soon as possible to avoid a potential fall and injury. Remain in this position until the sensation subsides. If symptoms persist, seek medical advice.
  • If you experienced an arterial puncture: Remove the wrap in 1 hour and rewrap loosely. Do not lift anything with the affected arm for at least 24 hours. Call the nurse line above or seek medical attention for any problems related to the arterial puncture.
  • If you sustained an impact to the head, seek medical care immediately if any of these symptoms present:
    • One pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) is larger than the other
    • A headache that becomes severe
    • Convulsions or seizures
    • Decreased coordination
    • Double or blurry vision (since the donation)
    • Repeated nausea and vomiting
    • Unusual behavior such as confusion or agitation
  • If you experience signs or symptoms of an infection at the venipuncture site (redness, oozing, pus, fever of 100.5 F or higher, or red streaks) call the number below.

Call the Compliance Support Specialist at (425) 656-3077 about the following:

If you become ill with 2 or more of the following symptoms in the next 14 days, please call us as soon as possible:

  • Flu-like symptoms (headache, eye pain, muscle and/or joint aches or weakness, rash, swollen glands)
  • Bleeding or easy bruising (unrelated to your blood donation)
  • Fever of 100 F or greater
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough

If you feel there is a reason your blood should not be used for transfusion, or if you realized after donating you did not meet the screening criteria, please call us as soon as possible so that your blood may be discarded if necessary.

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