Blood Basics

What can I do to increase hemoglobin/hematocrit levels before donation?

A Answers (1)

  • If a donor’s low hemoglobin/hematocrit is due to low iron, he or she can replenish iron levels by eating more high-iron foods or taking supplements. Foods rich in iron include red meat, fish, poultry, and liver. Other good sources are iron fortified cereals, beans, raisins, and prunes. Eating food rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes, helps with the absorption of the iron that you eat. Iron is often included in multivitamin tablets. If a donor has not been feeling well, has a family history of anemia, or has remaining questions or concerns after speaking with the health historian, the donor should see his or her personal physician. Also, if the hemoglobin/hematocrit of a donor has been low on several occasions, the Red Cross recommends the donor should discuss the result with his or her personal physician.
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This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Why is my hemoglobin and/or hematocrit checked before giving blood?