Blood donation can save up to three lives. However, despite the help he can provide, some segments of the population are less likely to commit this voluntary and altruistic act, such as athletes.
Why do athletes donate less blood? As CuídatePlus explains Javier Anguita, Member of the Board of Trustees of the CAT Foundation, the Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH) and the Spanish Society for Strengths, Javier Anguita. Blood transfusion (SETS) is that “there is a certain lack of knowledge about the effect it can have on your body. Donating blood should not harm an athlete. ” In fact, it says that donating is practically not contraindicated for any athlete.
Another reason is the fear that your athletic performance will drop. To clarify this point, the specialist clarifies that we must distinguish between amateur and elite athletes.
In the latter case, continued blood donation may affect the athletic performance of elite athletes as they approach competition.
For this reason, a SEHH spokesperson notes that “if the athlete is at a high level, it would be inappropriate to make a donation before the competition and perhaps donations will be recommended before the start of the most difficult training period, leaving them for periods when the competition is even further” .
On the contrary, donating in a controlled manner (not exceeding an amount that will completely restore red blood cell levels to their basal level) can be compatible with most athletes outside the elite and high level. competition.
“Blood donation practically does not interfere with the athlete’s activity, it simply reduces iron deposits after donation, but they can be solved by oral iron intake. For any athlete, these levels are monitored analytically, ”adds Juan Francisco del Campo, head of the hematology service at the Universitario del Henares Hospital in Coslada, Madrid.
How long does it take to get back to sports?
After donating blood, both experts recommend resting for 24 hours before resuming exercise. “If your recovery has been optimal, with plenty of fluids and some rest the day before, you can do your normal exercise the next day,” Anguita adds.
Regarding the degree of exercise intensity after this time, Del Campo advises doing moderate exercise and avoiding high intensity exercise.
Another aspect to consider is blood donation season. “There is a tendency for hypotension in summer due to vasodilation, which is caused by high temperatures. Thus, in the summer, the athlete must be properly hydrated to maintain a good level of blood pressure, and so that donation does not mean lowering it, ”indicates Del Campo.
Requirements for donating blood
From Hospital del Henares remember the requirements for donating blood:
- You must be between 18 and 65 years old and weighs over 50 kg.
- Didn’t have any specific medical conditions (hepatitis, HIV, tumors …) or got sick a few days before the donation or took any medication.
- In any case, the department’s medical staff will always refer the donor for a short interview and preliminary examination (stress, hemoglobin levels) to make sure they can donate.
“Any healthy person and athlete should practice blood donation, as it includes only basic help with iron supplements so that their active life is absolutely normal and takes into account the effectiveness of donation in society. blood “, concludes Del Campo.