After Your Donation
- Take the time to enjoy a snack and a drink immediately after donating
- Drink plenty of liquids over the next 24- 48 hours to help replenish fluids lost through donation and avoid alcohol
- As you may experience dizziness or loss of strength, use caution if you plan to do anything that could put you or others at risk of harm. For any hazardous occupation or hobby, follow applicable safety recommendations regarding your return to these activities following a blood donation
- If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness after donation, lie down until you feel better
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
- If the needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure to it and raise your arm for about 3-5 minutes or until bleeding stops.
- Smile! You have made a positive difference in someone’s life.
If you feel unwell after donating blood, please see your doctor at your local urban health clinic.
Abnormal Test Results
Each time you give blood, we test your donation for blood type and red cell antibodies (proteins which react with red blood cells and may cause problems in a patient receiving a blood transfusion). We also screen donations for HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Syphilis all of which can be transmitted to patients during a blood transfusion.
Initial blood test results may come back false positive. If advised of a positive result for one or more tests, donors are recommended to have their blood tests re-done and contact medical practitioner at the local urban clinic for complete diagnosis. It’s possible you may also require medication depending on your diagnosis. It is best if donors come back to the Centre in person asap after blood donation to enquire about their blood results (Blood Bank is open daily 9-3, including weekends). Your test results will not be disclosed over the phone or via e-mail. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 3248100 / 3248200
If your blood results came back positive for Hepatitis B or C?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and affects millions of people worldwide. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to scarring, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world, but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis. The various forms of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease and are the most common causes of liver cirrhosis and cancer. While all these viruses affect the liver, they are spread in different ways and have different treatments. Not all forms of hepatitis are infectious and viral hepatitis is often preventable however if untreated it can have serious consequences on the health of those infected.
It is transmitted through exposure to infected blood, semen, and other body fluids. Hep B can be transmitted through unsafe sex, or from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth. Transmission may also occur through transfusions of HBV- contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use.
HBV also poses a risk to healthcare workers who sustain accidental needle stick injuries while caring for infected- HBV patients. Most people do not experience any symptoms during the acute infection phase. However, some people have acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Once infected, a person can spread the virus even if he or she does not feel sick. It’s important to tell your sexual partner/partners if you have tested positive for Hepatitis B as they will also need to be tested and may require treatment. There is no treatment for “acute” hepatitis B however symptoms can be managed with medication.
Treatment of chronic hepatitis B is aimed at eliminating infectivity to prevent transmission and halt the progression of liver disease. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HBV.
If you have tested positive for Hep B a member of the blood bank team will notify you. Please see your doctor at your local clinic who will decide a treatment method for you based on your specific needs.
A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. It Is transmitted through exposure to infective blood by sharing infected injecting equipment, sharing personal items (toothbrushes, razors) that may have blood on them, although uncommon an infected mother to her baby and sexual transmission.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C infection. However, the use of antiviral medications has been effective for some people.
Many people will not experience symptoms when infected while others may experience: fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-coloured faeces, joint pain and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes).
If your blood has tested positive for Hep C, a member of the blood bank team will notify you.
It is important to see your doctor at your local urban health clinic for a health evaluation who will re-test you and decide the best course of treatment based on your needs (a combination of treatments may be required if your results are positive).
If your blood results came back positive for Syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum and can affect both men and women. The disease starts as a painless sore typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth and is highly contagious during skin to skin contact when the syphilis sore (chancre) or rash is present.
Those with syphilis may also experience a rash which can look like rough, red, or reddish brown spots on the palms of your hands and/or the bottoms of your feet or can be so faint you may not notice it. Those infected may also experience fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Untreated syphilis can lead to serious complications and can be fatal if not treated. As syphilis may have no symptoms in the early stages, regular sexual health check-ups are recommended for those who are sexually active. It’s important to remember that the genital sores associated with syphilis can make it easier to become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Treatment early in the infection is needed to help prevent further complications and to avoid passing the infection on to sexual partners and to prevent further damage to the body.
If your test results have come back positive for syphilis, see your doctor at your local urban health clinic for a health evaluation. As syphilis is an STD, it is important to stop all sexual activity and let your partner/partners know that you have an STD and that they should be tested. It is important to complete your full course of treatment and avoid sexual contact until you have been advised it is safe to do so by your doctor.
If your blood results came back positive for HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, and If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) though not everyone who has HIV advances to this stage.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system the body’s natural defense against illness making it hard for those infected with HIV to fight off infections and disease. HIV may be transmitted when blood, semen, and vaginal fluid from a HIV Positive person enters the body of an HIV Negative person.
This can happen through unprotected anal, vaginal and oral sex, or when sharing injecting equipment. Mothers who are HIV positive can transmit HIV to their babies during pregnancy, during vaginal delivery and when breastfeeding. HIV can cause symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, fatigue, rash, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, night sweats while some people may not experience any symptoms at all. There is no cure for HIV. However, HIV medicines when used correctly (called antiretroviral therapy) can assist in preventing HIV from advancing to AIDS.
These medications help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives as well as reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of HIV transmission to others. If you have HIV and are not receiving treatment eventually, the virus will weaken your body’s immune system, and you will progress to AIDS. If you have tested positive for HIV, a member of the blood bank team will refer you to a medical professional for follow-up treatment. A positive result can lead to feelings of shock, anger, distress and depression. However, it’s important to remember that HIV can be managed successfully, and you can live a long and happy life.