Giving blood is a quick, simple way to give back to your community. The donation process from the time you arrive to the time you leave is about an hour, but the actual donation time is only 8-10 minutes. Here’s how to have a great experience!
Prepare for Donation
Find a convenient donation location and time for you.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Eat a healthy meal at least one hour before donating.
- Be well hydrated before your donation.
- Make sure you bring verification of your identity — a driver’s license, donor ID card or government-issued ID card — showing your name and birthdate.
- Sign in and have your identification ready!
- A donor specialist will get you started on a questionnaire on a tablet related to your health, travel and other risk factors. (If you’d like more information about some of the questions, visit the eligibility section.)
The donor specialist will ask follow-up questions regarding your answers to the questionnaire to ensure that donating is right for you and safe for patients. Your answers are confidential.
- A donor specialist will conduct a “mini physical,” checking your blood pressure, temperature and pulse.
- He or she will also take a small drop of blood from your finger to test your blood iron count.
- If you meet all the requirements, you’ll be escorted to a bed in the donor room.
- The donor specialist will clean your arm and use a sterile blood donation kit to draw blood from a vein in your arm.
- Approximately 1 pint of blood is drawn, which takes approximately 10 minutes.
- After the donation, the donor specialist will remove the needle and ask you to apply pressure and raise your arm to prevent clotting.
- When you are ready, you will be escorted to our donor cafe for a bit of rest and rehydration.
- Have a seat and let our volunteer or staff bring you your choice of water, juice, cookies and other snacks.
- It’s a good idea to relax for at least 10 minutes so your body has time to begin replacing your donated fluids.
After your donation
- Enjoy your day — you’ve earned it!
- Drink more fluids than usual in the next few hours, but avoid alcohol.
- Eat a nutritious meal soon after you donate.
- Keep your bandage on for about 3 hours.
- You may resume normal daily activities, but avoid strenuous exercise.
- If you’re feeling funny or light-headed, lay down for a little bit and drink more fluids.
While about 38% of the population is eligible to donate blood, fewer than 5% do. It’s easy to verify that you are eligible. If you have additional questions about blood donation, please check our Blood Donation FAQs.