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Almost passed out at work today.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I feel SO stupid! My company had a blood drive and I donated today. My appointment was at 12:30, and I finally got out of there at 1:45. I ate my cookies and drank my juice, and I felt fine. I walked up 2 flights of stairs to go to my desk to clock out, then walked back down to the break room to get something for lunch out of the vending machine. Wouldn't you know it...all I had was change and I guess their change thing was full because it just kept spitting them out. So, I went without lunch (mistake #1). I didn't eat breakfast (normally don't) but I did eat two minature kit-kats shortly before they drew blood (mistake #2). Since I didn't get anything to eat, I went outside to smoke a cigarette (mistake #3)...no one told me I should wait a few hours before smoking (yes, I know smoking in itself is a mistake, but it's my only flaw..or so I tell people )

After my 1/2 hour, I walked back up 2 flights of stairs, sat down and plugged in to take calls. I took two...then the world started to go black. You know that feeling when you stand up to fast and everything just goes, then comes back in a few seconds? That is what I was feeling...only it wasn't coming back. I unplugged (without permission) because I honestly couldn't see the computer screen, or hear. My ears were buzzing, I started sweating, I knew I was on the verge of passing out. Deep breaths weren't helping so I put my head down on my desk but even that didn't help. I honestly just wanted someone to shoot me. This lasted for about 20 minutes.

Finally one of my co-workers realized I was as white as a ghost and sweating and went and got the manager. She and another supervisor literally lead me out (past 3 other contracts) to the elevators and took me down to the donor site where they made me lay down for about 1/2 hour and pumped me full of juice. They stuck an ice pack under my neck, and the room itself is freezing (it's not used much) so of course, at that point, I'm DEFINITELY not going to pass out! The nurse said I was probably dehydrated and without eating anything substantial all day my blood suger shot up and dropped REAL quick.

I'm feeling fine now, but it was one of the strangest experiences of my life. I mean, I get lightheaded sometimes but nothing that has lasted that long. But I just feel so stupid. And, apparently I'm the talk of the company. When I was walking out tonight the group of people in front of me were talking about the blood doning, and one said "Oh, I heard someone from FRTIB had to be taken back down because she passed out at her desk". I almost said "ummm...that was me...and I DIDN'T pass out completely!" but I kept my mouth shut.

Just a word of advise to anyone that goes to donate blood.....EAT!!! God only knows what would have happened if my appointment was later in the day and I was driving home at that point.
post #2 of 13
Bless your heart! That sounds awful. I am glad you are feeling better.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
I mean, I get lightheaded sometimes but nothing that has lasted that long.
That you have episodes of this suggests you do not have the blood to donate in the first place.
If I were to try to donate I would have the same problem you did, I have low blood volume - meaning I have maybe 60-80% the volume of the blood that a normal person has. Simply put, none to spare. No amount of eating or drinking would help me, and reducing my volume even more (via losing the blood) would mess up blood sugar as well.

Actually, though an unhealthy way to do it, smoking does raise blood pressure.

I suggest you don't donate again. You have some other issues that can make it tough on your body, and if you treat those will also disqualify you from donating.

For the rest of the evening, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and make sure you drink or eat things that will help replace potassium and sodium. Don't get up fast and it's probably best if you don't do something that will have you standing and possibly overheated - like taking a long hot shower.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
That you have episodes of this suggests you do not have the blood to donate in the first place.
If I were to try to donate I would have the same problem you did, I have low blood volume - meaning I have maybe 60-80% the volume of the blood that a normal person has. Simply put, none to spare. No amount of eating or drinking would help me, and reducing my volume even more (via losing the blood) would mess up blood sugar as well.

Actually, though an unhealthy way to do it, smoking does raise blood pressure.

I suggest you don't donate again. You have some other issues that can make it tough on your body, and if you treat those will also disqualify you from donating.

For the rest of the evening, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and make sure you drink or eat things that will help replace potassium and sodium. Don't get up fast and it's probably best if you don't do something that will have you standing and possibly overheated - like taking a long hot shower.
Oh believe me, I've been taking it easy tonight and ate as soon as I got home. What I don't understand is they checked my BP (102/70) and my heart rate and I seemed to be fine. They turned down one of my coworkers because his heart rate was to high and another one because her iron was low based on the finger stick. Was my BP too low? I thought that was pretty good.

I wondered about my thyroid, since I'm on kelp suppliments for that, but it wasn't on the list of medicines they gave me, so I didn't bring it up. Could that have caused the problem? It was just so weird that I felt fine and then all of a sudden everything went black....1/2 hour later. I would think I would have had that reaction when I first sat up.
post #5 of 13
Yes, your thyroid could have caused problems being a bit low. Whenever anything is wrong in the body it will affect the autonomic nervous system - thyroid issues are a common contributing factor. When that happens you can get low blood pressure, faint easier (vasovagal reaction can get turned up a notch - so to speak), and heart rate can either get too fast or too low.

107/70 is consider lower normal, and a good reading. BUT whenever you get this reading in a doctors office or say today before giving blood it may not reflect your actual average blood pressure. I can go up to 100/60 when stressed, but my average good BP is closer to 90/50s-60 (bad without meds is lower). They call this "white coat syndrome", and for some it can even mistakenly make their blood pressure look high when it's not during daily life.
To know your actual BP you need to take it 2-3 times a day over several days and average it.
My guess is that you're probably coming out at 96/65-70 at home. So yes, you'd be low.

Take care of yourself over the next few days while your body recovers.
You gave it pretty good stressor today, which could account for you taking a little while to get sick.
post #6 of 13
I'm glad you are ok!

I cannot give blood as I had a stroke in 2004. I always wanted to but never did.
post #7 of 13
Don't feel bad. Lots of good intentions just piled up against you, .

I'm glad everything turned out okay, and you're right. Thank goodness you were just at your desk!
post #8 of 13
What a scary experience, glad your feeling better now
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNurse22 View Post
Don't feel bad. Lots of good intentions just piled up against you, .

I'm glad everything turned out okay, and you're right. Thank goodness you were just at your desk!


How terrifying. I'm so glad you are ok, and that this was a lesson learned (safely).

Thank you for posting, you never know who you may help by sharing

Hope you are starting to feel better.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Unfortunately, I had another "episode" this morning and called my MIL who is a retired nurse. Apparently what I ate last night (canned ravioli and bread) was not the best thing since it was all starch and suger and very little protien. So, I'm going to make some scrambled eggs before I get in the shower and take the morning off, going into work late. I just didn't know giving blood could kick your butt this much!
post #11 of 13
Wow - I'm glad you're OK - but bummer you're still having problems! Hopefully the protein will do the trick. you get to work safe!
post #12 of 13
I get that way every time I have to get blood drawn which is why I don't donate because I have a habit of passing out.

I've never had it last that long though you must have felt so icky!!


Last time I had to have blood drawn for some testing I was like "I feel fine, wow..." but when she pulled the needle out I was like "Oooh I'm not okay anymore..."

It's so amazing how good a cup of juice and a cool rag can make you feel though right???
post #13 of 13
Giving blood can kick your butt! If you eat red meat, I would suggest adding a little extra to your diet for a week and taking a daily supplement pill, as well as eating some extra iron rich foods. You should also drink more water than usual in the week leading up to it, and avoid caffeine that day.

Last time I gave blood my vein stopped pumping blood. They dug around for a good ten minutes, and I started getting nauseas and had to stop. I hated going through all that, only to not give a usable donation. I was so close to finishing- but there was no way I was going to keep going and end up throwing up in front of everyone! That had never happened to me before.
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