If you’re donating whole blood, we’ll cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand new sterile needle for the blood draw. (This feels like a quick pinch and is over in seconds.)
Other types of donations, such as platelets, are made using an apheresis machine which will be connected to both arms.
A whole blood donation takes about 8-10 minutes, during which you’ll be seated comfortably or lying down.
When approximately a pint of whole blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm.
For platelets, the apheresis machine will collect a small amount of blood, remove the platelets, and return the rest of the blood through your other arm; this cycle will be repeated several times over about 2 hours.