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Old 10-07-02, 09:03 AM   #1
MichaelW
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giving blood

My colleague Laura (who has an aversion to direct sunlight) is really keen for a gang of us to head down to the local donation centre and give an armful of blood.
Can you ride (not race or train) safely after giving blood?
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Old 10-07-02, 09:05 AM   #2
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Depends on a lot of factors, but I'd say taking a day of rest would be a good idea. The last time I gave blood was in high-school, and I sprinted my ass away from the lady telling me not to run.

Hey, I was late for class!

Have you ever given blood before?
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Old 10-07-02, 09:16 AM   #3
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I tend to feel tired after donating, so I would take it as a rest day
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Old 10-07-02, 10:16 AM   #4
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I've never actually managed to give blood, but I know a few people who have. I've been either underweight (you have to be over 110 lbs) or had my ears pierced in the previous 12 months (ruled out 3 years in a row), and keep forgetting now I'm able to.

I would guess it should depend on how long a ride you're talking about, how long after the blood-giving you'd be leaving, and surely how many of the free bisuits you scoff on the way out!

The time I was underweight they let me have the biscuit anyway. I think they were trying to fatten me up for next time.

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Old 10-07-02, 10:44 AM   #5
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At my Bloodbank they advice a recovery period of 24 hrs, after that it should be fine, but i`m no expert!
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Old 10-07-02, 11:15 AM   #6
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I donate blood on a regular cycle ( every 8 weeks) and I have always continued my commute the next morning after about 10 hours however everybody is different so listen to what your body says.
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Old 10-07-02, 04:22 PM   #7
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They usually recommend no strenous exercise for several hours after donating. My brother cycled across town on a 100 degree day, donated blood and fainted immediately. He was really down for the count. He still says it was one of the dumber things he has ever done.

I'm a regular blood donor, but I always drive to and from. Why take a risk in traffic when your body has just given away 10-12 percent of it's oxygen carrying ability (red blood cells).

Take care and enjoy.
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Old 10-07-02, 05:24 PM   #8
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My thoughts exactly, Michael.

I would think we cyclists could handle donating more than most. But that question always arises: "How will it affect my cycling?"

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Old 10-07-02, 06:19 PM   #9
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Giving blood is a really great idea. I last gave blood in the morning, and then rode home...but I just took it easy. But I am one of the fortunate ones who feels fine after giving blood. ( I had to pass the last time due to a little tune up on a tattoo!) Looking forward to the next time, tho, 'cause I'll be ready then!
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Old 10-07-02, 06:49 PM   #10
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Similar thread.

Well, there are a gazillion reasons they will disqualify you (and that's a good thing)... just being able to donate is an accomplishment.

I don't have any problem riding several hours after donating. I try to donate before noon (they come to our work-place), and load up on fluids afterwards before riding. Plan on taking it easy on any rides. After sacrificing a significant portion of your red blood cells, you aren't going to break any records. Personally, I notice the difference for about a week, and supplement iron, just in case, for a week or two.

Thanks in advance. You're helping to save someones life.
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Old 10-07-02, 07:47 PM   #11
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If you do donate, absolutely take a rest for a while after. Especially if you have low blood pressure, like I do- you can get really dizzy! That's why I don't donate that often. I know I should, but I get so dizzy and feel crappy after. Low blood pressure isn't dangerous- better than high, but it can make you dizzy and get head rushes. Make sure you eat something! That's why they always have donuts, but if you hate donuts, have a PB sandwich.

Also, you can't donate if you've had surgery recently. I'm not sure how long you have to wait- I think it's six months.

Just for trivia sake, what's everyone's blood type? Hey you never know, one of us could be in a crash and lost lots of blood....

I'm A+
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Old 10-08-02, 12:35 PM   #12
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I always feel more energetic after I give, it's the same for my father. Curious.... (no ride 'till the next day though)
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Old 10-08-02, 04:42 PM   #13
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The only thing I can say is be careful if you try riding afterwards. The one definite thing I have seen directly or heard from all the family or friends that were Paramedics to Resperatory Therapist is this... Everyone reacts differently, and you can't depend they will react the same each time. I just gave, still got the bruise to prove it, and it wiped me out. Done it before, and no problems. I felt so bonked, I was too lazy to be sarcastic with the assistant telling me to "eat a meal that sticks to you"
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Old 10-11-02, 04:27 AM   #14
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I followed their advice after donating and got a lift home, then put my feet up, eating and drinking.
Next morning was fine for the ride into work.

They are really picky about who can donate these days. My buddy was not allowed because he had been on holiday to Brazil, where some nasty disease is prevalent. Im sure Brazilian donors in Brazil would be prevented, if they had visited the UK, because we have some nasy CJD/Mad cow disease here.
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Old 10-11-02, 03:49 PM   #15
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Any M.D.s reading this thread?

It seems to me that since one of the jobs red blood cells have is moving oxygen to the parts of the body where it's needed. (i.e. muscles.) then those muscles won't work the same way until the blood is replaced - and I don't just mean by guzzling a Pepsi or OJ at the post-drainage canteen.

Sucking a pint of blood and hemoglobin out of a human body seems like it would take a while for that to be replaced. Does the body compensate by speeding up the heart? How long does it take to actually replace the blood? I was told by the blood bank vampires that it takes 8 weeks -- hence the reason you can only give a pint every 8 weeks.
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Old 10-11-02, 04:00 PM   #16
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It takes the body some time to replace the red blood cells, hence the need to wait between donations. If you donate platelets, you can donate a couple of times a week. The typical person gives 4 million platelet cells and creates replacements within one day. When I used to donate them on a regular basis, they would do a count at the beginning, and at the end of your session. I once finished a session with more platelets than I started with. (They gave me the unofficial title of "The Platelet God" after that.) Some people are able to routinely give a "double-dose" of platelets based on their counts.

The real issue here is that blood donation is a good thing, and should be encouraged among healthy adults.
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Old 10-12-02, 12:01 AM   #17
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I gave blood last summer (I'm B-) and several hours later, rode my bicycle home. But I'm a rather big guy, 5-11 and at the time somewhere around 200 lbs. I rode home slowly, and had no problems.

However, someone who's slender, with minimal body fat, and low blood pressure, would be well-advised to not ride a bicycle after giving for 12-24 hours. Faiting on carpeted floors, or even a sidewalk, is one thing. Fainting on a bicycle is something else entirely. Even if someone is large, if there's the slightest amount of "wooseyness," don't "just do it." Wait to get on that bicycle.

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Old 10-12-02, 11:20 AM   #18
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Donating blood! I would love to, however, every time I have tried in the past & see that needle coming for my vein, I panic. The tech will not take my blood cause my pulse races and my blood pressure goes ski hi. I am AB+ So it would be nice if I could donate. Any suggestions how to stop having panic attacks over a dumb little needle? Oh yea, I don't look either!
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Old 10-12-02, 02:50 PM   #19
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Now I go about 215 lbs, and never have had a problem donating blood. No dizzyness or any of that other stuff they warn you of. Well, duh, a 2X the min weight.

In the past I always try to donate early in the week to have a rest day before the big group rides on the weekend. After all, I have a reputation as a hammer to maintain.

Last time, I was elected to sponsor the company blood drive at my location, and it was on a Friday, to boot. Man, did I suffer on Saturday! Sunday was a little better, but did not get back to where I was for about 5 days.

Of course, living below I-10 and riding with heat indexes above 100 does not help either.

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Old 10-12-02, 09:01 PM   #20
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Ginger,

The needle is a problem for some people; it's like other fears we have (of flying, or even bicycle riding). My advise is to confront the fear--give blood. But do it by being honest with yourself and the nurse. Tell the nurse that this is your first time, that you are afraid of needles, and that you need his/her advise on how to cope. They, I'm pretty sure, have seen this many times.

Once you've given blood the first time, the second time may be easier (although for parachute jumping, my third one was the worst--the first one was automatic, the second almost automatic, and I thought a lot about my third jump before-hand). After a half-dozen, you should be over the fear.

Good luck,

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Old 11-25-02, 07:51 PM   #21
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I only had my bike available when I gave blood yesterday.

The receptionist was happy for me to put my bike against the wall in reception and she kept an eye on it for me.

I gave blood, had a few bits and pieces to eat and drink. Stayed around a little longer than usual to read the paper, then rode 10km home. No problem.

I was ready to stop the bike if I felt even a little light headed but I didn't have to. I felt fine.

I also made sure that I had been drinking heaps before donating and kept up the fluids afterwards.
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Old 11-25-02, 07:55 PM   #22
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I should have added a PS.

When I fronted up at the counter to get the form to fill out I had to walk around a guy who was flaked out on the floor.

He had donated and then walked straight to the counter to arrange his next appointment. He fainted and apparently hit the floor with quite a thud. There were a number of staff buzzing around him getting his legs in the air and a pillow under his head.

After a while they were able to get him up into a wheelchair and wheeled him off to recover.

It was certainly one of those things that gives you great confidence immediately before donating.
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Old 11-25-02, 10:09 PM   #23
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I gave blood for the first time a few months ago and felt fine afterwards. This was on a Monday which is usually my rest day from cycling so I had driven my car to work (I need to bring in change of clothes for the week). I didn't ride the bike until the next day just to be sure but felt no ill effects whatsoever. A lady from our office (About 40yo and overweight) said she fell a bit faint after giving blood so it might depend on how fit you are as to how it effects you.
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Old 11-26-02, 02:23 AM   #24
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Unfortunately I'm not allowed to give blood anymore.

I actually collapased while having my tea and biscuits afterwards. They had to man-handle me to a bed to recover. This wasn't the first time I'd nearly lost concsiousness after giving blood. The blood transfusion service sent me a nice letter saying thank you very much for your donation but we think you shouldn't do it again as I react badly
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Old 11-26-02, 07:46 PM   #25
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I'm sort of reluctant to give blood. I kind of have low blood pressure and small veins and I remember it took them forever to get the blood out of me last time. I didn't faint, in fact I have never fainted in my life, but I did feel dizzy. I know I should donate because I am sure they need A + blood but I don't know if I want to risk conking out!
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