Donating Blood – Hemoglobin Reduction
So I just did a whole blood donation at the Red Cross. After being on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for the past 5 months my hemoglobin level was getting a bit high. I believe the range is 13.1-17.5 and my level was 17.5. My local doc said that I should donate blood about every six months to keep the level in the normal range.
FYI- the Red Cross has about a thousand reasons to reject you and not take your blood. One improperly placed “yes” answer on their questionnaire and you’re done. I did not mention that I was on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) although they probably would not reject on this basis. Unless you have a condition that would place the recipient at risk, the less said, the better.
Before even taking the donation, the first thing they do is take a little blood sample from your finger tip and load the sample into a little machine …. and wait for it … check your hemoglobin level! Needless to say, I was a little unnerved by this. I had no idea they were this damn thorough.
Luck for me, the lady was cool. She did ask about the high hemoglobin level. I mentioned that my doctor said it was a bit elevated so I should donate. She was good with this. She clarified, had I said it was testing “outside the normal range” or something like that, I would have been rejected. Saying it’s a little elevated = OK. Apparently they are not supposed to take blood donations from people with hemochromatosis, so they look for high hemoglobin levels. Of course in my case it’s not hemochromatosis – it’s testosterone.
I will probably get some testing done in a few months so I can see how the levels are doing post donation. This is a pain since I am in NJ and have to travel to PA to get testing done by privatemdlabs.
In the meantime, anyone have an idea of the kind of reduction I might see from a single blood donation session. I would like to keep the levels in the normal range for health reasons … and also to make sure I don’t get turned away on the next donation.