First Time Donor, Second Time Fainter

I signed up to give some blood last week for three reason. First, it’s on a long list of things I’ve never done but want to try at least once; second, I have a chance to win a free iPod Shuffle; and third, I’m interested to know my blood type.

Anyways, I went in at 1:50ish, did all the paper work. Got my finger poked (which really wasn’t all that bad, nothing compared to what people said it was going to be). And then waited. I got called up and everything went just fine. They wrapped up my elbow and off I went to go get some food and juice. However, about 15 seconds after I stood up and started walking towards the food, I started to feel light headed. Similar to when you stand up from the couch really quickly. Then I started to loose vision, similar to if you have been on the couch all day. However, when my vision didn’t return (indicating that not enough blood was reaching my cranial region), I sat down. The next 20 seconds were sort of confusing. I remember Bailey asking if I was feeling all right and me saying no. Some other people talked and had me stop eating the NutraGrain bar I was attempting to eat. They put me on my back, raised my feet, and put some cold towels on my forehead, neck, wrists, and ankles. I very quickly regained sight and coherence after that. They then walked me back over to the chair and had me sit down, tilting me back again.

15 minutes later I was good to go, although they wanted me to wait another 10 minutes in lobby area before I left. Bailey also offered to walk with me back to the dorms. So I waited a few minutes and she came and joined me in the lobby area and then she fainted (or almost fainted). If you’ve ever seen those video’s of the pilots doing G-force training and then blacking out, that’s pretty much what it looked like and I would also imagine that the cause is the same: lack of blood (ergo oxygen) to the brain.

What I can’t figure out is why the body gets hot. So if anyone has some insight on that, please let me know.

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