- 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 blood’s resistance to flowing in blood vessels.)
- Blood pressure is expressed in terms of the systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. 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.
For more information about blood pressure, click here.
- 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 (less 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 may also 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 are: 13.0 – 17.2 and for women: 12.1 – 15.1.
- Because of the potential health risk, donors are not allowed to donate if their hemoglobin level is less 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.
DISCLAIMER: As with all interpretation of medical tests, results are meant to be a guide in determining underlying medical conditions and individually do not provide diagnosis. They are best interpreted by your physician.