Step Two: The Mini-Physical
You’re registered? That’s great, now you are ready for the next step of the donation process. As we continue with the Inside Indiana Blood Center’s Donation Process mini-series, (after Step One: Registration) we would now like to share with you step two of the donation process – the mini-physical.
Indiana Blood Center’s mini-physical is one of donors’ health benefits of giving blood. During this time, a blood technician will examine your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin level and explain your results. The mini-physical is intended to protect the health of you, the donor, as well as the patient who will receive your blood.
Our mission is to connect healthy Hoosiers with patients in need. Thus, each and every donor must be feeling healthy and well in order to complete the blood donation process.
Fever may be the first sign of an infection. Therefore, a donor who has a temperature exceeding 99.5°F will be ineligible to donate until the temperature has remained below 99.5 for more than 24 hours, and any symptoms (cough, congestion, diarrhea etc.) have resolved.
It is important for donors to have acceptable blood pressure levels, as well. Blood pressure that is too high or too low indicates that the donor may not be at his/her healthiest, and may not tolerate the donation process well. Donors’ blood pressure must be between 90/50 and 180/100 to be eligible to donate. Taking blood pressure medication does not make you ineligible, as long as your blood pressure is within the acceptable limits.
Hemoglobin levels are tested to verify donors have enough red blood cells to safely donate blood, and to ensure an appropriate “dose” is provided for the patient. Those who have a hemoglobin level below 12.5 will be temporarily deferred. This is to ensure the donor has a sufficient level of hemoglobin to support the production of red blood cells to replace those lost to donation. A low hemoglobin level may be associated with anemia (too few red blood cells), often due to iron deficiency. A diet that is low in iron rich foods may explain low hemoglobin levels for some donors.
You must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate blood. You will not be weighed, but you will be asked to report your weight to the best of your knowledge. People of lower weight have a smaller blood volume and are less able to safely and comfortably tolerate the loss of fluid from a blood donation. There is no established upper weight limit for blood donation.
The mini-physical ensures that you are healthy enough to donate and that Indiana Blood Center is connecting hospitals, medical centers and patients with the best possible donors.
Stay connected next week to as we discuss Step Three: Donation (Whole Blood). In the meantime, visit DonorPoint.org to schedule an appointment to Raise Your Sleeve.