steps to giving blood
Get eight hours of sleep and eat a hearty (eggs, meat, leafy greens, fruit) evening and morning meal. To help stabilize your blood pressure, drink lots of water (and minimize caffeine). Your body will lose about two cups of fluid during donation, so being fully hydrated is important.
You'll be asked to show a photo ID and provide some basic information for our records.
There are two steps to pre-donation screening: the mini-physical (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and hemoglobin check) and the Donor History Questionnaire (DHQ). The DHQ has questions about your health history, travel, and other factors associated with an increased risk for infections that could be transmitted via blood transfusion. You will use a touch-screen computer to complete the questionnaire. Our staff will help you with any questions you may have.
You may wish to complete your DHQ prior to the blood drive. You can use our EarlyQ system to do so, as long as you complete the questionnaire on the same day as your donation.
DONOR ELIGIBILITY EARLYQ
Donor Informed Consent Donor Informed Consent (Spanish)
3. Giving Blood
After completing pre-donation screening, a phlebotomist will lead you to a reclining donor chair. Next, the phlebotomist will cleanse the area on your forearm where the needle will be inserted. A sterile, one-time use kit is used for each donation. This includes the collection bag, testing tubes, needle and all tubing. The donation process for whole blood donation will last about 8-10 minutes. Your phlebotomist will observe your donation from beginning to end and answer any questions you may have.
Parental Consent Form Parental Consent Form (Spanish)
4. Post-Donation Fluids and Snacks
Following your donation, you will sit up on the donor chair and proceed to the donor canteen area to drink fluids and eat a light snack. Your body will begin replacing the cells and fluids you donated right away, so it's important to eat and drink right after your donation. Be sure to rest well and drink plenty of fluids before and after giving blood.
- Build up your iron for your next donation
As part of a wellness initiative, the blood center encourages donors to consider taking iron supplements (18-38 mg of ferrous gluconate) daily for eight weeks to help replace the iron lost in a whole blood donation. It is available over the counter and in multivitamins with iron (read the label). This amount has no more side effects than a sugar pill. For more information, click here.