Hey all, we've been receiving a few inquiries on why and how long before you should eat prior to donating blood plasma, so your B Positive Insider is here to deliver the info.
Eating lean meats or complex carbohydrates the day before and within 4 hours of your appointment time is crucial because they provide you with protein and necessary nutrients to keep you balanced during the vital screening and donation stages, as well as after your appointment. Because plasmapheresis is a dehydrating process, it is essential to be well-nourished and hydrated to donate safely and quickly.
Coming in to donate without having eaten within 4 hours of your appointment time or eaten enough could result in a deferral for low iron in the screening stage, or worse, a reaction on the donor bed. We understand that everyone has a different appetite and think what they have eaten before they donate is enough, but the rules are in place for your safety.
Some examples of healthy, high in protein foods you can eat before your appointment time include beans, cheese, eggs, nuts, shrimp, beef, poultry, seeds, and yogurt. It's always a good idea to eat iron-rich foods as well, and some examples are broccoli, turkey, ham, cereal, collard greens, raisins, and watermelon. Be sure to avoid greasy or high fat foods such as ice cream, pizza, and cheesesteaks the day before and of your appointment. These foods will cause your blood to thicken, leading to slow flow from the vein or a milky appearance to your plasma. If plasma appears milky the bottle is unusable, meaning you are unable to be compensated and save a life! So, please, eat properly before you come to your appointment!