Every day we are exposed to a variety of germs that could impact your immune system and keep you from donating lifesaving blood plasma. To be eligible to donate plasma you must be feeling healthy and well-rested. B Positive Insider wants to share some reminders to help you stay well so you can donate as often as possible.
Wash hands frequently
How often do you wash your hands? Frequent handwashing is important to practice year-round, but it is particularly critical during the winter months because it's cold and flu season. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water at home, on the go, and around the center will prevent you from getting sick and spreading bacteria and viruses to others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should wash your hands:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
How should you wash your hands? The CDC advises you to:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. For time reference, hum “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
Cover your cough and sneeze
Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze to prevent a widespread of germs. Wash your hands or use antibacterial hand sanitizer immediately after if you can.
Drink plenty of fluids
Hydrating is also a key component to keeping you healthy, so drink plenty of water in addition to citrus juices for an additional boost of Vitamin C.
Eat a healthy diet
Bananas, apples, citrus fruits, and iron-rich foods are full of vitamins and antioxidants your body needs to stave off bacteria and viruses. Eat plenty of these foods during cold and flu season to stay healthy.
Getting as much rest as possible is important to remain healthy and fight off infection if you are sick. Coming in to donate if you are short on sleep will likely increase your risk of falling ill, so get adequate rest and stay home if you have not had enough sleep.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives!" Accessed February 1, 2018. Accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.
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