Step 1 - Registration
When you come to a blood drive or donor center, you start by signing in and showing your ID. [Acceptable forms of I.D.] You’ll be asked to read some important information about giving blood.
Step 2 - Health History
You receive a mini-physical that includes checking vital signs and iron levels in your blood. There is also a health questionnaire that helps ensure that your blood is safe to give to patients in need.This interview will be private and confidential. Depending on your answers, you may be deferred from donating, either temporarily or permanently.
If you are allergic to iodine, tape or natural latex rubber, tell the interviewer so that the donation staff can substitute other materials.
Step 3 - Donation
We will cleanse an area of the arm you will be using to donate. All of the supplies, including the needle, are sterile and are used only once — for you.
At the beginning you may feel a brief "sting" from the needle. Most donor say it doesn't really hurt, and just feels like a slight pinch. The actual blood donation only takes a few minutes and you give about a pint of blood. Your body will replace the plasma (liquid part) in hours and the blood cells in just a few days.
Step 4 - Refreshments
After your donation, you will be given a form with post-donation instructions and a phone number to call if you decide after you leave that your blood may not be safe to give to another person.
Take a few moments to relax with juice and snacks after your donation.
Tips For A Positive Donation
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Have a good breakfast or lunch.
- Drink extra water and fluids to replace the volume you will donate (avoid tea, coffee or other beverages with caffeine).
- Eat iron-rich foods: red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals, raisins or prunes.
- Avoid fatty foods such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating.
- Wear clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
- Show the staff any “good veins” that have been used successfully in the past to draw blood.
- Rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids over the next 24-48 hours.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for about five hours after donation.
- If you feel light-headed, lie down, preferably with feet elevated, until the feeling passes.
- In rare cases when bleeding occurs after removing the bandage, apply pressure to the site and raise your arm for 3-5 minutes; if bleeding or bruising occurs under the skin, apply a cold pack to the area periodically during the first 24 hours.
- Take the time to enjoy a snack and a drink in the refreshments area immediately after donating.