Donating Blood

Blood donors make a lifesaving difference. More than 4.5 million patients need life-saving blood transfusions each year in the U.S. and Canada. And blood is a perishable resource that can be stored only for a short time. That's why blood donors are needed every day.

Donor Requirements

You may be eligible to give blood every 56 days if you are a healthy person age 17 or older (or 16 with parent or guardian permission). Blood donors 19 years of age or older should weigh at least 112lbs. There are special requirements for donors who are 16 to 18 years old:

16-Year-Old Donors

Parent or guardian permission required for 16-year-old donors. For information, please visit the Required Forms page.


Before You Donate

  • Get plenty of rest, drink extra fluids, eat a good meal (including iron-rich foods), and avoid alcohol.
  •  If okay with your doctor and medical condition, eat more salty foods than usual 24 hours before you donate.
  • Avoid smoking right before you donate.


  • The entire process takes about 60 minutes.
  • Healthy people are eligible to donate every 56 days.

1. Registration

  • Sign in to let us know you're here.
  • Present photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID.
  • 16-year-old donors will also need to present a parental consent form. 

2. Screening Area

  • Answer questions about your health.
  • Mini-physical: Temperature, pulse, and blood pressure are all checked. A small drop of blood from your fingertip is taken to test your iron level.

3. Hydration

  • Drink a bottle of water to hydrate before you donate.

4. Donation

  • A tourniquet goes on your arm above the elbow.
  • A phlebotomist cleans your skin.
  • The blood is collected (usually takes about 5-7 minutes).

5. Post-Donation Station

  • Take 15 minutes to sit, relax, and enjoy a snack.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. 

After You Donate

  • Most people feel fine. Drink more nonalcoholic liquids than usual. This is important because your body replaces the liquid volume of the donated blood within 24 hours.
  • If okay with your doctor and medical condition, eat more salty foods than usual 24 hours after you donate.
  • If you smoke, avoid smoking for 30 minutes.
  • Delay strenuous exercise until after your next regular, full meal.
  • Leave the bandage on your arm for 3-4 hours to protect your skin against infection.
  • If you feel light-headed after donating, sit down or pull off to the side of the road if you're driving and wait until you feel better before going on your way.

Call 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663) If

  • You have any concerns about your donation OR you don't feel well.
  • You have a fever above 101°F within the next 24 hours.
  • You have severe diarrhea within the next 48 hours.
  • You have an unexplained fever with headache or flu-like symptoms in the next 14 days.
  • You think for any reason your blood should not be given to a patient.



Click here to view current donor eligibility and donation requirements.