Dehydrated Blood Donor

February 19, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/


So I get back in the office this morning after the long weekend, check my calendar, and remember that I signed up to donate blood today. Cool. I love donating blood. I’m teaching spinning tonight. That is like resistance training, right?

I head down to the mobile blood donating bus parked outside of my office, fill out the form confirming that I’m clean, healthy, and have not had sex with any African babies for money. Seriously tho, some of the questions they ask are just cooky. If you’ve donated in the past few years you know what I mean.

I do the finger prick test, get my blood pressure tested (114/72 for anyone interested), and grab a seat to let ’em start poking away at my arm and draining me dry. They didn’t take my resting HR, which I was a little disappointed about. I can’t help but get a little pleasure out of surprising nurses with a much lower than average resting heart rate.


The nurse was pretty young and was poking around my forearm trying to find the best vein for a while. I was really hoping that she knew what she was doing. After poking and prodding me like I was a piece of fruit she was thinking about putting into her shopping cart, she settled with one of the veins on the outside of my forearm and warned me that it might drain a little slower, but it should still work.

She stuck me, and my vein actually squirted blood a few inches down my forearm. Kinda gross, but I couldn’t help but laugh. It just looked funny.

All signs look good until the machine holding my bag of blood below me starts beeping, and the nurse starts grabbing my arm, adjusting the needle, and struggling to get a better flow from my vein. After playing with the needle for a while, we finally give up and decided that I just didn’t drink enough to make this session worthwhile and give up enough blood to actually use.

So I’ve got a hole in my finger, arm, and a half full bag of blood, and no one even gets to use it?! BOOOOOOO

Granted, I completely forgot about donating blood until about 30 minutes before, but seriously? Not enough fluids? I’m always so diligent about making sure I toss back at least two bottles of water, Gatorade or Nuun before, during and after a workout, but am I really not taking in enough fluids the rest of the time?

For breakfast I had a bowl of cereal, and a half a cup of tea before I  went in to donate. Given that, I guess having trouble donating isn’t too surprising.

Lesson learned: drink more ALL the time, not just when working out


One comment

  1. I just had trouble donating blood and came home and ‘googled’ blood donation trouble. I exercise regularly and have a resting heart rate of 50-60. Two out of the last three times that I tried to donate blood, the process had to be aborted because the flow of blood decreased. I felt that the attendants were competent. They did not have a good explanation for what went wrong. They would try to reposition the needle to resume the flow, but this ultimatlely did not work. They mentioned my hydration as a possible issue. I do not purposely hydrate before giving blood, but I will in the future to see if that is the answer. I’m just sharing my experience.

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