How to Donate Blood
Our goal is to make it easy and convenient to donate.
Giving blood only takes about an hour of your time. You will be asked to fill out a confidential health questionnaire about your medical history and be given a “mini” physical to check your blood iron level, blood pressure, temperature and pulse. The actual donation process only takes about 15 minutes as you sit back in a comfortable chair and watch your favorite television show. After your donation, you’re invited to relax and have a light snack or juice. Afterwards, you can go back to your normal schedule.
Who Can Donate
Donating blood is one of the few things a person can do that makes a real life-saving difference. For safety reasons, certain eligibility requirements must be met in order to donate. Details of each donor’s health and activities are discussed with a donor center nurse in a confidential setting prior to blood donation. The final determination for eligibility is made at that time.
Donor Eligibility Requirements:
We ask that you do not donate if you:
- Donors must be 17 years of age or older and weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Donors must be in good health and feeling well on day of donation.
- Donors must have had no antibiotics or dental work three days prior to donation and no tattoos or body piercings in the past 12 months.
- Donors should have a healthy meal and drink fluids within four hours before donating. It is best to avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages before donating.
- Bring a PHOTO ID.
- Plateletpheresis donors only: Do not take any aspirin or aspirin containing products or any anti-inflammatory medications (i.e., Ibuprofen or Aleve) 72 hours before your donation.
- Directed donations:
- Directed donors must inform the donor center staff they are directly donating for a specific patient and provide the patient’s (recipient) name.
- The recipient’s physician must provide a written order to collect directed donations prior to accepting donors for directed donations.
- The donor’s blood type will not be determined before donation. If donor’s blood passes all tests, but is not of the appropriate blood type, it will automatically be released for use by other patients.
- Have had a cold, sore throat, infection or flu symptoms three days prior to donation or do not feel well on day of donation.
- Have an open mouth or skin sore on day of donation.
- Have taken antibiotics in the past 72 hours.
- Had teeth cleaning in last 24 hours or dental work (i.e., filling, root canal, crown, gum surgery) in last three days.
- Are pregnant now or in last six weeks.
- Have had a tattoo, ear or skin piercing, acupuncture, accidental needle stick or come in contact with someone else’s blood in last 12 months.
- Have received a blood transfusion in last 12 months.
- Have spent more than 72 consecutive hours in jail or prison in last 12 months.
- Have had and/or been treated for syphilis.
- Have had and/or been treated for gonorrhea in the last 12 months.
- Have traveled to a malaria risk area in last 12 months.
- Have had malaria in last three years.
- Had Cancer in the last five years (except basal cell skin cancer or in-situ cancers).
- Have a history of hepatitis after age 11th birthday.
- Have Insulin dependent diabetes.
- Have spent a total time of three months or more in the United Kingdom between 1980 to 1996.
- Have spent a total time of five years more in Europe from 1980 to present.
- Between 1980 to 1996, was a member of the US military, military employee or a dependent of the military and spent six months or more in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy or Greece.
- Have ever used a needle to inject nonprescription drugs (including steroids).
- Are male and have had sex with another male even once since 1977.
- Have ever been or are now an intravenous (IV) drug user.
- Have received blood clotting factors for treatment of hemophilia or other clotting disorder.
- Have had a positive test for the AIDS virus or have tested HIV positive.
- Have engaged in sex for money or drugs since 1977.
- Have been a sexual partner of anyone at risk for HIV exposure, the virus that causes AIDS in last 12 months.
Directing Your Donation
You can specify where your blood can be used:
- For your own surgery, (autologous blood).
- From a friend or family member, (directed donor).
- For community use.