Say Goodbye to Fainting When Donating with Applied Muscle Tension
Are you a first-time donor and worried about fainting during your blood donation? Have you donated before and felt faint during the donation process? Some donors deal with uncomfortable symptoms like feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous. These symptoms are often caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate, known as a vasovagal reaction. Some studies suggest that a series of simple exercises, called applied muscle tension (AMT), can reduce these symptoms.
What Is Applied Muscle Tension (AMT)?
Applied muscle tension is a series of exercises that may prevent a drop in blood pressure during a triggering event – for most donors, this is when the needle goes in and when it comes out. It can also be used whenever a donor feels faint, including during the donation, standing up after the donation, or in the recovery area.
You’ll be asked to:
- Cross your legs
- Squeeze your knees and tense your abdominal muscles for five seconds
- Relax for five seconds
- Repeat the process