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Blood Drive

Page history last edited by mikemsd@... 8 years ago

2015 Blood Drive Hours

 Date Hilton


September 3rd




September 4th




September 5th




September 6th



September 7th



 The Robert A. Heinlein "Pay It Forward" Blood Drive is held in the Hilton throughout the con, beginning on Thursday before registration and ending Monday. Normally, this will be on the Galleria level. The blood drive is administered by LifeSouth. An alternate donation site is in the Sheraton, but only open Thursday and Friday.



Before donating



There are often a number of restrictions on those who are eligible to donate blood, including restrictions on tattoos or piercings, body weight, travel, etc.


Candidates who have have received a tattoo in the previous 12 months are not eligible


Per LifeSouth's FAQ page, donors who have received a body piercing that was not in a sterile environment with single-use equipment (e.g.: someone's bathroom, kitchen, or dorm room) are ineligible. If a piercing was performed in a sterile environment with single-use equipment (e.g.: Store or kiosk in the mall, tattoo or piercing parlor), then the donor is eligible.

Physical Condition

Donors also need to weigh more than 110 pounds (48.9 kilos) and be over the age of 17 (16 with parental consent). A "mini-Physical" will be performed to check blood pressure, iron content, and other basic vitals. Medical history will also be examined.

Previous Donation

Donors who have given in the past 56 days are also ineligible.



The night before, SLEEP! Your head, on a pillow, preferably in a bed. Doesn't have to be yours, though they may disqualify you if you were in someone else's bed for the usual reasons if a prophylactic was not used. Regardless, get some sleep.


Prior to donating, it is advised to eat something within 2 hours before giving blood. Iron-rich, but non-fatty, foods are advised. Some sources advise against eating a hamburger while others explicitly list it as a suggestion. Consider a salad. You know, that green stuff that's usually on a burger, but a lot of it in a bowl. Have them add bacon. Everything is better with bacon. Subway has them. Chicken and other red meats are also sufficient source of iron. Have them add chicken to your salad. No one will think you're less of a man, unless you forget the bacon. Or, eat a steak. Best excuse ever to order the big steak. Avoid tea and soda as these block iron absorption. Drink water, at least an additional 16 ounces. Juice drinks with vitamin C will also help the body absorb iron and prevent ill effects.


Wear comfortable clothing. This excludes most costumes. A short sleeve shirt is recommended, though any shirt with an easy to roll up sleeve is acceptable. If accessing the vein in your arm involves disrobing or tools, a different selection of attire may be advisable. Consider bringing a light jacket as you may feel a little chilly after donation.


After donating:

You will need to replenish fluids and sugar in your system. There will be a table full of juices and snacks after you finish donating. Take advantage of this. Also, consider purchasing or carrying with you additional juices and snacks throughout the rest of the day and avoid alcohol. Don't forget to stop by the swag table and get a freebie as you leave.


Warning: If you have not donated blood before and don't know how your body will react to doing so, the first few days of Con may not be the best place to start. Common side effects of donating blood are fatigue or light-headedness, and after donating you will need to replenish your system with large quantities of non-alcoholic liquids and non-junk food which can be scarce in the Con environment. If you're already exhausted from traveling or getting 3 hours of sleep a night, donating blood mid- or pre-con may not be the best idea, and you should probably wait until Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.


If you have not donated before, but you want to donate during con, consider donating at your local Red Cross or other donation facility a few months beforehand to find out how your body will react.

Comments (3)

Hydroxide said

at 11:35 pm on Jan 27, 2010

........and you usually get free T-shirt! Remember, when you are a pint low on the red stuff, the alcohol takes effect on your brain quicker!!!

Drawer said

at 11:55 am on Jan 28, 2010

You may consider adding a section on "how to make donating blood more pleasant". Dress slightly too warmly (the act of donation tends to make you feel cold), make sure you eat red meat the day before (avoid anemia), etc. Just a thought.

Garand said

at 3:54 pm on Jun 19, 2010

Ah ha! Finally got the formatting right where there's not an extra space and some of my not so clever humor missing! Had to go old school and edit the article's source and drop an erranr set of <span> tags.

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