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.
You may be eligible to give blood every 56 days if you are a healthy person age 17 or older (or 16 with parent's/guardian's consent), weighing 110 pounds or more.
Parental Consent Form NOTE: Be sure to print and bring both pages.
Before You Donate
- Get plenty of rest, drink extra fluids, eat a good meal (including iron-rich foods), and avoid alcohol.
- Eat more salty foods than usual 24 hours before you donate (check with your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions).
- Avoid smoking right before you donate.
- The entire process takes about 60 minutes.
- Healthy people are eligible to donate every 56 days.
- 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.
- Drink a bottle of water to hydrate before you donate.
- 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.
- Eat more salty foods than usual 24 hours after you donate (check with your doctor first if you have certain medical conditions).
- 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 continuing.
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 an unexplained fever with headache or flu-like symptoms in the next 14 days.
- You have severe diarrhea within the next 48 hours.
- Someone in your household develops hepatitis or jaundice in the next three months.
- You think for any reason your blood should not be given to a patient.