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Get Physical: Give Blood, Give Life

Blood donations are always needed by the American Red Cross. For most people, it's really not a big deal to give, but it can mean life to someone in need. So why not bring your significant other with you, and you'll be making a difference together.

If you've never given blood before, here are some things you should know:

  • You must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 lbs, and have not donated blood in the last 8 weeks (56 days).
  • You should be healthy and sickness-free.
  • You will be interviewed before giving blood to make sure you qualify -they'll ask about your health history.
  • If you are taking antibiotics at the time, you can't give blood, but birth control pills are fine.
  • If you've recently had acupuncture, it's acceptable, as long as you have proof that the needles used were sterile. The same goes with body piercings - if you don't have proof, you must wait at least 12 months.

Wondering about if you have tattoos? To find out,

  • If you've recently gotten a tattoo, you must prove that it was applied in a state-regulated facility, using sterile techniques. If there is any question about it, you must also wait 12 months.
  • If you've recently visited a country where malaria is found, you must wait 12 months. If you've lived there, you must wait 3 years. If you've spent long periods of time in countries where Mad Cow Disease is found, you cannot give blood.
  • You'll also get a brief physical exam - they'll take your pulse, check your blood pressure, your temp, and your blood count (with a tiny prick in your finger).

Fit's Tip: On the day you are planning to give blood, make sure you drink a lot of water all day long - it'll make your blood flow easier. Eat well too, because giving blood can really deplete your energy. Right after you give blood, they usually have juice, pizza, and snacks waiting for you though!

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