Things to know before donating blood

General things to know before donating:

  • All donors must have a valid picture ID or donor card.
  • We request donors to eat a well balanced breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner before donating. This is to keep the donors from becoming nauseous, light headed, or from passing out.
  • Donors should drink plenty of water (it could help the blood flow steady).
  • It is a good idea if donors could avoid coffee, tea or ice cold water a few hours before donating. Coffee could lower the iron or make it seem as the donor has a temperature, tea could lower iron levels and water could bring the temperature down a little too low.
  • Red Cross recommend donors to sign up for an appointment to prevent long waits.  Schedule an appointment by visiting and entering sponsor code: UA Little Rock, using the new Red Cross Blood App, or by contacting the Staff Senate blood drive coordinator.

Blood donation FACTS:

  • Anyone with high or low blood pressure, high or low cholesterol, and/or diabetes can donate as long as it is under control and they person has taking his or her medication.
  • If anyone states they have anemia or low iron, it does not mean their iron is low at the time of his or her donation. There is a possibility that his or her iron has reached a normal level.
  • The tattoo policy has changed. As long as the donor has received his or her tattoo within 24 hours they may donate as long as the donor has received his or her tattoo in a licensed salon and depending on the state if not performed in Arkansas.
  • Needles are never reused.  They are new coming out of the package.
  • The minimum age is 16 years of age with the permission of his or her parent by signing the consent form. There is no maximum age. As long as the donor feels healthy, he or she can donate.

Important reasons why Red Cross is in need of donors:

There are many important reason why the Red Cross is in need of volunteer’s to donate blood.

  1. CMV Negative (Also known as Baby blood) – Those who have CMV Negative are able to help premature babies, cancer patients, and burn victims, just to name a few.
  2. Rare blood types – The rare blood types consist of O+, O-, A-, and B-. This particular blood type is high in demand for patients and low in demand in the hospital. O- is the Universal blood type, meaning anyone can use this blood type without causing any harm to the person receiving. Because the hospitals are in need of this blood, the Red Cross is asking for anyone with a rare blood type to donate doubles. Doubles are when a donor is donating two pints rather than one pint.
  3. Sickle Cell Disease – Sickle Cell is a moon shape cell that did not developed into a round shape blood cell. Sickle Cell is inherited by two parents with the disease or possibly one parent with the disease; there is no cure. Predominately African American and Hispanics have the Sickle Cell disease, however, African Americans are predominately the carriers. Those with the disease can receive blood from any ethnicity, however, the antibodies in the blood of other ethnicities must be capable to an African American with Sickle Cell. If not, it could cause the Sickle Cell patient to go into a crises or even cause death. When a Sickle Cell patient goes through a crisis, their life saving medication is blood. Sickle Cell patients need blood to survive. The most capable match for an African American with Sickle Cell is someone of the same ethnicity. Because of the low percentage of African Americans who donate, the hospitals do not have enough blood for African American children in Children Hospital or the adults at UAMS, and Baptist. Although, there are some Sickle Cell patients who have lived passed 50, the life span of a Sickle Cell patient at this time is around 42 yrs of age. The Red Cross is in need of the African American population to donate blood in order to help a Sickle Cell patients live another day.
  4. Every two seconds someone needs blood.
  5. A single car accident victim can receive up to 100 pints of blood.