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's/guardian's consent), weighing 110 pounds or more.

16-Year-Old Donors

Parental Consent Form  NOTE: Be sure to print and bring both pages.

Frequently Asked Questions for 16-Year-Old Donors and Parents

 

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.

Donating

  • 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.
  • 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.