Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Donating blood can help:
There are also potential benefits for people who regularly donate blood:
If you think you want to donate blood, it’s important to make sure you meet the requirements and that you properly prepare.
You’ll need to be:
Your local blood bank may have more requirements, so check with them. When you call, tell the person on the phone if you have health concerns or problems or if you’ve recently traveled outside the country.
If you’re donating platelets, the American Red Cross allows people to do this every 7 days, up to 24 times in a year.
The blood donation process can be broken down into four steps:
While the whole process, from the time you get to the facility to the time you leave, can take about an hour, the actual donation itself may take as little as 8-10 minutes. If you donate platelets, a machine filters the platelets out of your blood and returns the rest of your blood to you. This process takes longer (2-3 hours).
When you arrive at the blood bank or blood drive, you’ll sign in for your appointment and show your ID. Then you’ll complete paperwork that includes general information like your name, address, and phone number.
They’ll ask you about:
The questions are based on guidelines developed by the AABB (formerly called the American Association of Blood Banks) and approved by the FDA.
We'll need to know about all prescription and over-the-counter medications you're taking.
Relax for a few minutes in our refreshment & recovery area — have some cookies or other snacks — you’ve earned it!
Drink an extra four (8 oz.) glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol over the next 24 hours.
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