How does the blood donation process work?
Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but can make a big difference in the lives of others. The donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about an hour. The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average. The steps in the process are:
You will complete donor registration, which includes information such as your name, address, phone number, and donor identification number (if you have one).
You will be asked to show a donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of ID.
Health History and Mini Physical
You will answer some questions during a private and confidential interview about your health history and the places you have traveled.
You will have your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure and pulse checked.
We will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand–new, sterile needle for the blood draw. This feels like a quick pinch and is over in seconds.
You will have some time to relax while the bag is filling. (For a whole blood donation, it is about 8-10 minutes. If you are donating platelets, red cells or plasma by apheresis the collection can take up to 2 hours.)
When approximately a pint of blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm.
Plasma is one of the key blood components needed for modern medical practice. During a plasma donation, blood is drawn from one arm and channeled through a sterile, single-use collection set to an automated machine. The machine collects select components – plasma only, or a combination of plasma and platelets units - and then safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline to you
Blood Donors Must:
Donation Type Donation Frequency
Blood (whole blood) Every 56 days
Platelets Every 7 days, up to 24 times / year
Plasma Every 28 days, up to 13 times / year
Double Red Cells Every 112 days, up to 3 times / year
Blood Donors Must:
• Be in good general health and feeling well*
• Be at least 17-years-old in most states, or 16-years-old with parental consent if allowed by state law – see more information for 16-year-old donors »
• Weigh at least 110 lbs.
Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18-years-old and younger and all high school donors. Click here for weight requirements for young donors.
* Note: Healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control. If you are not feeling well on the day of your donation, please contact us to reschedule.