Predonation water ingestion attenuates negative reactions to blood donation

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Novice blood donors are at increased risk for unpleasant blood donation-related symptoms (e.g., dizziness, weakness, and lightheadedness), and the experience of such symptoms can contribute to a decreased likelihood of repeat donation. Recent laboratory studies suggest that water ingestion produces hemodynamic effects that may be sufficient to reduce risk of syncope and related reactions during blood donation.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS

Male and female volunteers were randomly assigned to ingest either 500 or 0 mL of water 30 minutes before donating blood for the first time. In addition, bioimpedance analysis was used to assess predonation chronic hydration levels in all donors. Immediately after donation, participants completed the Blood Donation Reactions Inventory to assess subjective experience of negative physiologic reactions.

RESULTS

Analysis of Blood Donation Reactions Inventory scores revealed that predonation water ingestion was associated with a 47-percent reduction of total donation-related symptoms (F [1,79] = 11.81, p = 0.001). Chronic hydration status was not related to reported reactions.

CONCLUSION

Novice blood donors responded positively to predonation water consumption, and they were able to consume 500 mL in less than 5 minutes. Results of the present study suggests that predonation water ingestion may be a simple and cost-effective strategy to enhance the donation experience and possibly increase donor retention.

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