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Five Tips to Calm First-Timer Nerves

First of all, good on you for making an appointment to give life! That’s a commitment worth celebrating, and we’re so excited to meet you, you’re obviously a top-notch person. 

Some donors can feel a bit nervous the first time they visit us to donate blood, but once they’ve donated most find themselves wondering why they were worried in the first place. 

We’ve been collecting blood donations in Australia for more than 90 years, so it’s safe to say we’re well-practiced, and our friendly team know exactly how to make first time donors feel comfortable and looked after. 

Here are some tips to help you feel prepped and relaxed about joining Australia’s community of more than 500,000 blood donors.

Tell us how you feel

More than 90 per cent of all new donors feel great during and after their donation. The few donors who do have a reaction feel only mildly faint or dizzy. This is nothing to worry about and will pass quickly. Our team is well-trained to handle it, so let them know if you feel a bit different. You should also feel free to ask them any questions you have along the way, we love talking about what we do! 

Drink up

Sometimes a reaction can occur, caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure. The best way to prevent this is to keep your blood pressure up. One way to do this is to stay well-hydrated on the day of your appointment, and to drink 500 mL of water before your donation interview. We always have water on hand in our centres, so help yourself while you’re waiting.

Work those muscles

During your donation you can keep your blood pressure up by doing some simple muscle tensing exercises. You can read more about these here.

The power of distraction

Bring something to read, or headphones to play some music, or your favourite podcast to distract yourself. Time flies when you’re having fun, and your donation will be over before you know it. Many whole blood donations are done in less than 10 minutes, while the longer plasma donations provide a great opportunity to catch up on things you might not otherwise have time to enjoy in a busy day. 

Two’s company

If you’re in a state where it is safe to do so according to current restrictions, bring a friend or family member with you. If that doesn't suit you, ask one of our staff to keep you company and don’t be afraid to let them know you feel a bit nervous. 

We’re here to help you have a great donation experience, and of course to make sure you get some delicious snacks to celebrate the great feeling that comes with saving lives.