Congratulations! So you’re ready to give blood!
Read and follow the general guidelines below for a successful and rewarding blood donation experience.
To donate blood, you need to be in good health, at least 16 or 17 years old (depending on your state) and weigh at least 110 pounds.
Your community blood center will provide you with additional information regarding all eligibility requirements. Please contact your local blood center and do not assume you cannot donate.
Thanks for deciding to donate blood! Before going to your local community blood center, be sure to:
- get a good night's sleep
- eat a well-balanced meal
- drink plenty of water, as hydration is very important
- bring a government issued state I.D. (driver’s license, passport, DMV I.D. card, etc.) or your school photo I.D.
- be at least 16 or 17-years old depending on your state
- be in general good health
The following steps will take place upon your arrival at the blood center or drive:
- Registration - Staff will check you in and provide an overview of eligibility requirements and information on the blood donation process.
- Donor Health History Questionnaire - Complete the confidential questionnaire that will be provided, answering each question honestly and to the best of your ability.
- Mini-physical Examination - Staff will take your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and determine your iron levels.
- Actual whole blood donation takes about 10 minutes;
- Apheresis collection can last 60-90 minutes.
- Make sure to relax during this process.
- Once the blood donation is complete, please wait for staff to assist you before attempting to stand.
- Follow staff instructions and proceed to the refreshment area for water and snacks.
- Drink plenty of water to ensure proper hydration and remain in the refreshment area for at least 15 minutes.
- Make sure the next meal you eat is healthy and well balanced.
- Do not smoke.
- Follow the blood center's additional instructions on how to take care of yourself after your donation.
- Now that you're finished, don't forget to schedule your next blood donation and enjoy the satisfaction of helping to save a life!