Feeling faint

Most people adapt quickly to donating blood, however if you feel faint we advise you to:

  • drink plenty of fluids and have a salty snack
  • eat your normal, regular meals
  • avoid hot rooms and hot showers/baths
  • avoid vigorous exercise or rushing about
  • avoid standing for long periods

If you feel unwell:

  • tell someone, either a friend or family member, if possible, and ask them to keep an eye on you
  • lie down and raise your legs if you can.
  • get up slowly when you feel well enough, and drink plenty of fluids

To reduce the chance of you feeling unwell at your next donation:

  • on the day of donation and the evening before, drink plenty of fluids and eat normally, but avoid alcohol. as this will dehydrate you
  • drink the full 500ml of water that you are asked to drink before you give blood - this reduces the chance of fainting
  • ask staff to remind you about the applied muscle tension exercises
  • tell staff about your previous experience of feeling faint or fainting.

Further information

If you are worried or require further information, call our donor helpline on 0300 123 23 23