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Old 10-28-08, 06:16 PM   #1
ryanwood
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donated blood, now what?

I donated blood today and I am nervous about jumping back on the bike and commuting tomorrow. Does anyone have any experience with this or have any recommendations on recovery time? The blood bank advised me not to ride, but they also told me that I shouldn't ride the last half mile of my commute yesterday and I was fine.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:22 PM   #2
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Bloodbank is covering their butts . . .
Donated blood in a combat zone and went right back to it.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:24 PM   #3
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Just ride, you will be fine.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:33 PM   #4
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Everyone responds differently to giving blood I suppose, but I've never had a problem riding mere hours after giving blood. Unless you're blacking out on stairs or something, you should be fine to ride.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:40 PM   #5
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I have never felt any weakness after donating. Just drink lots of water/juice. Dehydration is probably your only concern
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Old 10-28-08, 07:11 PM   #6
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I've ridden there and home/work,get your cookie/OJ or $20,which ever one they'll give you.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:13 PM   #7
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Just ride. I gave blood a couple weeks ago and commuted home 10 miles, then rode 46 miles the next day.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:23 PM   #8
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I ve donated and ran 6 miles the next day

HI,
I used to work in a BLood Donor center, each person can react differently to donating blood,
I found I felt a little more easily winded at running to fast, but if I slowed down I was fine.
Fluid replacement is the only requirement post donation, one pint is so small in a average sized person. >110lbs.
The positive aspects of donation in Males is the Iron storage is depleted a little for some reason there seems to be a slight increase in heart related problems in people who have high iron stores due to excessive iron consumption in vitamins. I don't take Vitamins with Iron for that reason.
Doug

for those who want to read more about iron and its link to heart disease
http://www.jstor.org/pss/3702354

Last edited by djnzlab1; 10-28-08 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:29 PM   #9
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don't be a weenie. Unless you are a small, ight person, you are ok. I have done 10 mile rides to get to a blood donation station, donated, and ridden home. It's seriously no big deal if you are an average size person. (5'11.5" and 175 here)
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Old 10-28-08, 07:54 PM   #10
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I donated blood twice in high school(about 2 years ago) and both times I was extremely tired for the rest of the day. I fell asleep in a couple of my classes and completely crashed when I got home. It's true that people react to it differently to it. I was probably 6'2 at the time, and weighed about 135. I'm not short, but I'm thin, so that could have something to do with it. I also have low blood pressure if that has anything to do with it.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromavita View Post
I donated blood twice in high school(about 2 years ago) and both times I was extremely tired for the rest of the day. I fell asleep in a couple of my classes and completely crashed when I got home. It's true that people react to it differently to it. I was probably 6'2 at the time, and weighed about 135. I'm not short, but I'm thin, so that could have something to do with it. I also have low blood pressure if that has anything to do with it.
I think I fell asleep nearly every day in high school, so that would have been nothing out of the ordinary for me.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:45 PM   #12
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Last time I donated blood I commuted the next day and felt fine. If you're worried about it leave a little early and take it easy on the way in.
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Old 10-28-08, 09:09 PM   #13
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I have donated several times a year for thirty years. Trying something very strenuous within the next day or so has a few times reminded me that I was lacking a few RBC's. Never any major issues, though.
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Old 10-28-08, 10:17 PM   #14
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Well, I don't think it was near as much blood, but I had bloodwork done over the summer, and rode home immediately afterwards. And then curled up and went to sleep. All was well, though.

If you feel woozy, don't ride. If you don't, and you've had a snack, do.
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Old 10-28-08, 11:20 PM   #15
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Ride and let the FSM guide you
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Old 10-28-08, 11:42 PM   #16
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Your body replaces the lost blood volume in less than 24 hours. You'll be fine.
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Old 10-29-08, 12:05 AM   #17
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The only time I had a problem was when I gave more than one unit and went for a 10mi ride immediately afterwards. Got a headache but that was it.
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Old 10-29-08, 01:16 AM   #18
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Just keep the fluid intake way up... lots of water, some juice. If you feel like you're losing it, call a friend and ask for a ride... but you should be able to do it no problem.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:22 AM   #19
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I donate every time I'm eligible (every 6 weeks I think). I donate, eat their cookies and juice, and ride 5 miles home. If the drive is at work, I have usually a 6 hour break at my desk, then ride 11 miles home. I've never had a problem.

The nurses used to hassle me about it, but they've given up.

Depends on the person though. Before cycling got me fit, I'd get headaches every time I gave. I don't even notice anymore, I just take it a little easy just to be prudent, and I'm fine.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:40 AM   #20
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I ride to/from the donation center. FWIW, I don't even wait the 'required' 20 minutes. They take the needle out, I hop on my bike and split. Everyone is different and you will have to judge how much it affects you. For me, I do notice a drop in performance for a couple of days following but since that doesn't bother me, I keep riding.
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Old 10-29-08, 11:15 AM   #21
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Drink lots of fluids, slow your pace, and as w/ the other poster who said unless you're feeling dizzy, etc. Don't worry too much about it.
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Old 10-29-08, 11:21 AM   #22
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Old 10-29-08, 11:27 AM   #23
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I donate plasma every 28 days and they just tell me no strenuous exercise for 8 hours and drink plenty of fluid.
So you just take the ride home a little easier and the next day has never been a problem.

It's a simply a two fold precaution..one so you don't pass out and two you don't start bleeding.
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Old 10-29-08, 12:40 PM   #24
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Take it easy the day of the donation. If you do ride home go slow and don't go far. I'd have to ride 10 miles to the donation center and that would be a problem. If I donated at work and only had a 5 mile ride home I could deal with it.

I once went to play racket ball the day I donated whole blood... I almost passed out. I was able to sit down just in time. Therefore I now know not to do something that strenuous. The few days after donating I can ride just fine, but I can definitely feel a difference for a few days. It is no bid deal, but there is definitely a little lost performance during the first 3 to 4 days. I didn't notice it so much during my commute, but doing a club ride where I am already just barely able to keep up, with a blood donation two days before I was not able to sustain the 20 to 21 mph for 25 miles like I could preceeding weeks. The following week I was able to keep up with the group again.

I used to do double blood donations and liked it a lot as it rehydrated you as you did the donation. I felt much less effect on my body following a double donation. Since the double units is expensive to collect and apparently B+ is not in as short a supply the Red Cross no longer allows double reds for B+ people. Recently I was asked to do a platelets donation. The 1st time they did just a plasma donation and that went fine. I'll do platelets next time.

The minor inconvenience of having to take it a little easy for a day is a small price to pay for helping to ensure that those who need it can have access to a steady supply of blood.

Happy riding,
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Old 10-29-08, 12:47 PM   #25
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My speed was reduced for a few days after donating, but then again I ride my commute like a time trial. Like most have said, take it easy, rehydrate, and pay attention to what your body is telling you.
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