The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Your donation is desperately needed.
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.