Free Health Screening and Blood Tests
When you come in to donate, you help provide lifesaving care to patients in need. But you also receive the added benefit of a free mini-health assessment, provided by a trained Red Cross staff member.
Prior to donating blood, all donors will receive a free health screening. At the time of your donation, your blood pressure, hemoglobin, and pulse will be checked. We record these vitals in your online donor profile where you can track and monitor your results. You can access this information as well as past health information obtained during prior donations, at any time. Your online profile is a great resource to track your health goals and share with your care providers. Your health is an important part of your donor journey and key to continuing to help others in need.
What is done during the test and what is measured
Prior to donating blood, all donors will receive a free health screening. At the time of your donation, your blood pressure, hemoglobin, and pulse will be checked. We record these vitals in your online donor profile. You can access this information as well as past health information obtained during prior donations, at any time. We encourage you to share your results with your healthcare provider at your next visit.
The Red Cross checks your blood pressure before every donation. When untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and other health complications. Also known as hypertension, the condition usually has no symptoms, and is often called the "silent killer."
Your pulse will be checked before every Red Cross blood donation. Staff will measure the number of times your heart beats per minute and count any irregular heartbeats. Your pulse rate gives insights into your heart rhythm and how well your heart may be working. A heart rate that is too fast, too slow, or irregular can indicate an underlying condition.
The Red Cross checks your hemoglobin before every donation to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate. Hemoglobin is a protein that contains iron and carries oxygen to the tissues in your body. Iron is essential to help your body to replace new red blood cells lost through blood donations.
After each blood donation, your unit will be sent to our labs to undergo the following:
The Importance of Your Vitals – And What They Say About Your Health
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are health screenings important?
As part of every blood donation, you will receive a free health screening with information that may provide important insights into your health status. You can see the results of your health screening such as your pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level, as well as view trends in these important vitals over time, through our free Blood Donor App as well as through your donor profile on RedCrossBlood.org.
Where do I go for a free health screening?
Your free health assessment will take place at your blood donation appointment, which can be your regular blood and platelet donation center or at your nearest blood drive.
How are infectious diseases tested on donated blood?
Every unit of blood is tested to identify the donor's blood group (O, A, B or AB) and Rh type, and screened for atypical or unusual red cell antibodies.
Blood donations are tested for multiple disease markers. For a full list of commonly tested infectious diseases, click here.
* ** Disclaimers
* The American National Red Cross does not provide medical advice or diagnosis. The information provided here is intended to be used for blood donation eligibility only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, judgment or treatment by a licensed physician. Please check with your personal physician about the meaning of your specific test results. Vitals information may not be available for all appointments.
**Health assessment chart tracking will be coming to the award-winning Red Cross Blood Donor App in late 2021! Right now the information is available by logging into the donor profile on RedCrossBlood.org.