- Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels. During each heartbeat, blood pressure varies between a maximum (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) pressure.
- It decreases as the blood moves away from the heart though your arteries because of the heart’s pumping and bloods resistance to flowing in blood vessels.
- Blood pressure is expressed in terms of systolic pressure over diastolic pressure (systolic/diastolic).
- Normal blood pressure is usually around 120 over 80, or 120/80.
- Hypotension, or low blood pressure, may mean inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain and other vital organs, particularly in the elderly.
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to heart attacks or heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.
- Exercising regularly and quitting smoking are ways to lower blood pressure.
- Donors must have blood pressure less than 180/100 and greater than 90/50.
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- The pulse measures the number of heartbeats per minute.
- A normal pulse in adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
- Bradycardia means the heart beats slowly (fewer than 60 times a minute).
- Tachycardia means the heart beats very fast (more than 100 times per minute).
- Most donors are unable to donate blood with a pulse of more than 100 beats per minute or less than 50 beats per minute.
- Body temperature is a general reflection of many different body systems.
- The average normal body temperature measured by a thermometer placed in the mouth is 98.6°F (37°C).
- Oral temperatures of more than 100°F represent a fever, which can be brought on by infections, severe trauma, injury or other medical conditions.
- Chronically low body temperature also may be a sign of illness.
- Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen in the blood.
- The normal values are different for men and women, but both high and low hemoglobin levels may indicate disease.
- Normal hemoglobin values for men: 13.0 – 17.2
- Normal hemoglobin values for women: 12.1 – 15.1
- Because of the potential health risk, donors are not allowed to donate if their hemoglobin level is lower than 12.5, for both men and women.
- Cholesterol is a waxy substance made in the liver.
- The body needs only a small amount of cholesterol.
- When too much is present, health problems such as heart disease may develop.
- Diet, weight, exercise, age and heredity can impact cholesterol levels.
- Total cholesterol level:
- Less than 199 mg/dl is desirable
- 200-239 mg/dl is borderline high
- Greater than 240 mg/dl is high
For more information about cholesterol, click here.