Although the vast majority of people don’t feel discomfort when giving blood, the procedure can nevertheless cause anxiety. Unfortunately, the more stressed you are, the more uncomfortable the experience can be. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
Before the sampling
If you don’t have specific instructions about how to prepare for the blood test, follow these recommendations:
Drink plenty of water before your appointment. With proper hydration, blood volume increases and the veins expand, making them easier to access.
Eat a healthy, balanced meal containing protein and whole-grain carbohydrates. This will help avoid discomfort while giving blood.
While it’s preferable to wear a short-sleeved garment to make it easier to access the veins in the arm, put on a warm layer over it to prevent the cold from constricting your veins.
Don’t hesitate to tell the person taking the sample whether you prefer one arm over the other. People often choose their non-dominant arm or a site where blood has already been drawn easily.
Make your concerns known to the person collecting the sample. He or she has the experience required to guide and reassure you throughout the procedure.