Blood donation is a priceless gift, one that most healthy people can give. But even healthy donors are sometimes temporarily deferred due to low blood iron levels.
While an overall well balanced diet is generally the safest bet for normal blood iron levels, the American Red Cross recommends eligible donors build up iron levels by eating iron-rich foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, liver, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans, peas, lentils, breads and dried fruit prior to donating.
In addition, eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi, strawberries, peppers, potatoes and cabbage, helps increase iron absorption. Iron can be replenished with supplement tablets, but should be taken only after consulting with a personal healthcare provider or pharmacist.
A temporary deferral is just that – temporary. It is well intended to protect the health of the donor and the recipient. Healthy donors who have been temporarily deferred are urged to try to donate again soon.
Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities
Monday, Feb. 18, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Trimont Evangelical Covenant Church.
How To Donate Blood
Simply call Cara at 639-7995 or 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code 0171629) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
A blood donor card, driver’s license, or two forms of identification are required at check in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), weight at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.