The Blood Donation Process
The blood donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about an hour. The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average.
- We’ll sign you in and go over basic eligibility.
- You’ll be asked to show ID, such as your driver’s license.
- You’ll read some information about donating blood.
- We’ll ask you for your complete address. Your address needs to be complete (including PO Box, street/apartment number) and the place where you will receive your mail 8 weeks from donation.
Tip: Download the Blood Donor app. After your first donation, use the digital donor card to scan in at registration.
- You’ll answer a few questions about your health history and places you’ve traveled, during a private and confidential interview.
- You’ll tell us about any prescription and/or over the counter medications that may be in your system.
- We’ll check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.
Tip: Speed up your donation by completing a RapidPass® online or on the Blood Donor app on the day of your donation.
- 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.
Refreshment and Recovery
- After donating blood, you’ll have a snack and something to drink in the refreshment area.
- You’ll leave after 10-15 minutes and continue your normal routine.
- Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing you are helping to save lives.
- Take a selfie, or simply share your good deed with friends. It may inspire them to become blood donors.
What Happens After My Donation?
Learn about what happens to donated blood.