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Old 06-22-03, 09:49 PM   #1
Falchoon
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Blood donation and cycling

Anybody else here give blood? I recently donated for the third time. The first time I was quite nervous, not having done it before and didn't know what to expect. They nearly didn't let me donate because my blood pressure was low. It was all a bit of an anti-climax, nothing to be worrrid about at all and no after effects. I rode my bike home (about 15km) at my usual pace no worries.

The next time I actually felt a little off, not faint, just not quite my usual self. Rode the bike home just not as fast.

The third time was similar to the second except I have been really lethargic on my bike for about a week. I was taking an extra 10mins each way on my normal commute and feeling stuffed afterwards, no strength to ride up small hills. I only came good on Friday, about a week and a half after the blood letting. I then did about an 80km ride on Sunday in the freezing rain/sleet and felt really good (apart from being cold & wet) and was actually the first one back.

ANybody else had simjilar experiences? My diet has pretty much stayed the same so I can only put it down to the blood donation.
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Old 06-22-03, 10:03 PM   #2
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I donate blood, and usually don't really have any problems with feeling faint. It's important to drink water before, and some juice and some food right after.

We should all donate blood..... it sure makes you feel good that you are helping to save a life!
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Old 06-23-03, 01:48 AM   #3
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Falchoon, how much time passes between donations?

Here in UK we can only donate blood every 12 weeks, and when I used to do it, I never rode in on the day I donated.

Now I donate platelets once a month, and, though the platelets are separated and the blood returned to me, I still don't ride on that day (largely because they also give an anticoagulant and 2 hours hooked up to a machine means I want to rest on the way home)
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Old 06-23-03, 03:25 AM   #4
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Blood donation is a good thing, it helps save another life, yes.

However, there's another good thing about blood donation. Not only go you benefit others, you benefit yourself as well. There is something about blood renewal. Since blood are lost, new blood cells are created as a result, with healthier and newer blood. Anyway, blood cells dies off in 60days(?), without proper removal of the dead blood cells, it does certainly affect performance to a certain extent. The renewal process of the blood is improved as a result, you get new blood in your body and you'll look better with better complexion.

Just remember to try to relax on any exercise routine after you donated blood.
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Old 06-23-03, 03:56 AM   #5
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It takes only 24 hours to replace the volume lost through blood donation but up to 8 weeks to replenish the red cells lost (that's assuming you have good iron stores which may not be the case in women with heavy menstrual periods). In which case, 3 months is the optimal. Probably why in the UK it is evey three months. So if you are donating less than 8 weeks apart, it could be why you really felt it the third time. However, if you are not replenishing your iron storage or have active blood loss (as in menstruating females) you probably need to up your iron intake between transfusions.


Oxologic is right in a sense, the most common genetic defect in caucasions (rivaling that of sickle cell in Afrcan AMericans) and often undiagnosed is hemachromatosis which causes osteoarthritis, diabetes, hypertension and potentially liver failure in late years. This is a condition of iron overstorage and patients are told to donate blood every two months.


Those in the medical field salute you for such a great work of charity. (Unfortunatley I cannot donate since I've had too many accidental needle/ syringe sticks in my career, though I or the patient never tested postive for Hiv, Hep c etc. it's an automatic denial.)
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Old 06-23-03, 06:00 AM   #6
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As an aside, before I could donate I had to answer various questions designed to see if I was a suitable candidate.

One was " Have you ever paid for sex?"

I was tempted to answer "Don't all men, really?" but thought better of it as this was the female doc who was going to take my blood samples
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Old 06-23-03, 06:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by oxologic
Blood donation is a good thing, it helps save another life, yes.

However, there's another good thing about blood donation. Not only go you benefit others, you benefit yourself as well. There is something about blood renewal. Since blood are lost, new blood cells are created as a result, with healthier and newer blood. Anyway, blood cells dies off in 60days(?), without proper removal of the dead blood cells, it does certainly affect performance to a certain extent. The renewal process of the blood is improved as a result, you get new blood in your body and you'll look better with better complexion.

Just remember to try to relax on any exercise routine after you donated blood.
actually, you make new blood cells all the time, even if you don't donate blood. and you break down old and tired blood cells all the time too, without donating blood. the benefit, as cbhungry mentioned, is preventing the accumulation of excess iron in your blood. this is not a problem for women of childbearing age, since they lose some blood every month. but it is a big problem among men - especially those who just LOVE red meat.

actually, i tried to donate blood once, but they refused to take it because i'm hepatitis-B positive. so my only option is to try bloodletting.
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Old 06-23-03, 09:12 AM   #8
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I am one pint short of being a 2 gallon donor,
have been since 1996 when I went to South Africa.
Since I've been back in the states I can't donate
for something like 5 years due to my having been
in Mocambique (high malaria area) and KwaZulu Natal
(High HIV area).

wish I could get that 2 gallon thingie. . .

Marty
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Old 06-23-03, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by chewa
Falchoon, how much time passes between donations?

Here in UK we can only donate blood every 12 weeks, and when I used to do it, I never rode in on the day I donated.

I can't recall the exact time between donations but it is at least 12 weeks as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by chewa
As an aside, before I could donate I had to answer various questions designed to see if I was a suitable candidate.

One was " Have you ever paid for sex?"

I was tempted to answer "Don't all men, really?" but thought better of it as this was the female doc who was going to take my blood samples
Good move not to be cheeky to female with sharp object in her hand....
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Old 06-23-03, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by oxologic
Blood donation is a good thing, it helps save another life, yes.

However, there's another good thing about blood donation. Not only go you benefit others, you benefit yourself as well. There is something about blood renewal. Since blood are lost, new blood cells are created as a result, with healthier and newer blood. Anyway, blood cells dies off in 60days(?), without proper removal of the dead blood cells, it does certainly affect performance to a certain extent. The renewal process of the blood is improved as a result, you get new blood in your body and you'll look better with better complexion.

Just remember to try to relax on any exercise routine after you donated blood.
I ride a bike, I don't need to give blood to loose blood.

I loose blood everytime I ride......
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Old 06-23-03, 05:40 PM   #11
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Like Chewa, I am a platelet donor. Our local blood center is open 7 days a week so I try to schedule donations on Sunday morning, after a big workout on Saturday.

Most times, I've found that my performance improves after a platelet donation. It could be a psychosomatic effect, or the fact that the donation forces me to take a true day off. It might be the good feeling you get from knowing you're doing something totally unselfish. Unless you're only giving for all the free cookies, of course.
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Old 06-23-03, 07:43 PM   #12
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I donate blood every 4 months. I do the double red blood cell donation. That's where they extract 1 pint and separate the red cells from the plasma and mix the plasma with an anti-coagulant and pump it back into you. Then the process is repeated. I usually try to go in the morning and eat hearty and drink lots of fluids. They tell me I can exercise that evening under these conditions. Sometimes I just wait until the next day. You may want to reconsider riding your bike to your appointment. The people at the donation center should be able to give you some good advice on this.
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Old 06-26-03, 06:28 AM   #13
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How soon after giving blood can you ride and how hard can you push?
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Old 06-27-03, 03:16 AM   #14
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I have given blood for 20+ years. Then my blood tested "false positive" for what I don't know. They refused to take my blood, and gave me the name of a doctor to call. Scared me spitless! I called the doc, and she told me not to worry, it was a false positive. But then, the next time I went to give blood, they turned me down again. They said even though I had a false positive, there is a 1 in 3,000,000 chance the false positive reading could actually be positive. They said I could never give blood again, and I have 0-, which is in great demand. Almost every day, I hear radio ads pleading for blood donors -- the bank is running low. It seems to me they are a bit too picky in the name of blood safety. If you needed a critical operation that couldn't wait, would you take a 1 in 3,000,000 chance the blood was bad? I think I would.
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Old 06-27-03, 09:50 AM   #15
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That's a really good point. I realize that they need to ensure the safety of the blood supply, but a lot of their exceptions are just overkill, in my opinion. They weed out a small number of potential infectors at the expense of a great many folks who'd be be regular donors.
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Old 06-27-03, 10:20 AM   #16
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If you were sued as often and as successfully as blood banks have been over the last 12 yrs you would react the same way. All of the testing and criteria used are mandated by the Feds in one way are another. The "mad cow" episode knocked out anyone who spent any time in England and the continent over the last 10yrs. Back in the late '80s a change in the level of acceptable liver function tests meant a few beers or a six pk was enough to permanently knock out about 10% of the donors at plasma clinics, it was an effort to screen for infectious hepatitis that was not otherwise testable, at the time. Most of the elevations were alcohol related. Steve
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Old 06-27-03, 04:30 PM   #17
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I don't mind giving blood, but every time I do I almost pass out. The first time I tripped the second bag in only a couple of minutes and women came running. The last time I was on the cot for almost a half an hour. I don't mind giving it, but I'm tired of looking like a goof ball after I donate. If I did not drain so darn fast I think I would be ok. I feel bad. I have not donated in almost 20 wks.
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Old 06-27-03, 04:39 PM   #18
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The "mad cow" episode knocked out anyone who spent any time in England and the continent over the last 10yrs.
Yep, due to extensive international travel I haven't been able to donate blood within the past few years. I'd love to do my part but oh well...
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Old 06-27-03, 05:27 PM   #19
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I'm a long time donor (I've got my 10 gallon award) but I am careful to follow their instructions about no heavy lifting or heavy exercise for 24 hours after donating. It's not just the fainting issue. You don't want to open the vein up and have internal bleeding (nasty looking bruise until the blood is reabsorbed).

It's always a good excuse to have a steak for dinner on days that I donate. . . for my health you know.

All the best - Lenny
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Old 06-27-03, 10:28 PM   #20
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You don't want to open the vein up and have internal bleeding (nasty looking bruise until the blood is reabsorbed).
A long time ago in high school, I gave blood... and stupidly elected to play volleyball in phys ed class. I missed a bump and the ball hit a little further up my arm. Boy did it look like a mess.
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Old 06-28-03, 06:51 PM   #21
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What do they give you for ten gallons? A big box of doughnuts?

I haven't given for a while. I have small veins and it seems to take forever for my blood to come out. I also got dizzy last time. I should give, though, I have A pos. blood which I gather is probably useful.
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Old 06-29-03, 04:46 AM   #22
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I'll never forget giving blood a long time ago at my company. I was lying there, and looked over at the next guy, and he was the most brilliant shade of pea green I've ever seen! The nurse pulled his plug and led him out.
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