There is no substitute for human blood. One in three people will need blood sometime during their lives. Blood lasts only 42 days. Your regular donations are critically important.
What does it take to be a blood donor?
Blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds (16-18-year-olds must meet combined height and weight criteria) and not have donated blood within the last 56 days. 16-year-old donors must present a signed parental permission/consent form. Visit www.savealifenow.org/16 to obtain the form.
There are some medical conditions that can keep you from giving blood. You will find the most common ones listed on the Can I Donate? page.
Do I need identification?
Yes. Acceptable Forms of Identification:
- Identification which displays the individual’s name and photograph
- Non-photo ID with first and last name and signature
- A valid signed CBC donor card
- All 16 and 17-year-old donors must present proof of age (the CBC donor card will be acceptable to indicate the 16 and 17-year-old donor meets the age requirement)
When I give blood, what will happen first?
You will be asked to provide/verify basic information including your name, address, email address, phone numbers, gender and date of birth. You will then use our touch screen device to answer questions about your health history to ensure that you are eligible to donate blood. Your hemoglobin will be determined from a drop of blood from your finger. Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will also be checked.
How long does the donation take?
The procedure is done by a skilled, specially trained technician and takes 10 to 12 minutes. You will give one pint of whole blood. You will rest after the donation and enjoy refreshments. Plan to spend about an hour at the blood drive or donor center.
Is there anything special I need to do before my donation?
Eat your regular meals and drink plenty of fluids before donating. We also encourage you to eat salty foods in the 24 hours prior to your donation.
How will I feel after my donation and is there anything I should do?
After relaxing and having a snack, most people feel fine. After donating, drink extra fluids for the next 48 hours.
Your body replaces blood volume or plasma within 24 hours. Red cells need about four to eight weeks for complete replacement. The average healthy body has between 8 and 12 pints of blood and can easily spare one.
When you donate blood, you lose some iron. We recommend that you take a multivitamin with iron or an iron supplement to replace it.
How soon after donating can I get back to routine?
After you give blood, you will relax and have a snack. You may then resume normal activity as long as you feel well. Just avoid lifting, pushing heavy objects or engaging in strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after giving blood.
What happens to my blood after donating?
For general information or to make an appointment to donate blood call 1.877.468.6844 or visit www.savealifenow.org.
For more information regarding medical eligibility for blood donation call 1.800.688.0900.