The Basics of Donating Blood

graphic illustrating requirements of giving blood

Donor Eligibility   Parental Consent Form  Consent Form (Spanish)


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. Bring your photo ID (school ID, state issued ID, driver’s license or yearbook photo accepted in conjunction with list of dates of birth from the school) to present at your donation. If you are 16 years old, remember to get your parental consent form signed. (Consent Form - Spanish)

applied muscle tension graphicDuring

First you’ll be asked to show a photo ID, verify information and provide signed consent form (if needed). Then it's on to a min physical, where our team will check your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin. Next, you’ll complete the confidential health questionnaire. Last (but most important!), it’s donation time! The actual donation takes less than 10 minutes!

Utilize Applied Muscle Tension throughout to donate and feel great!

  • First, tense your upper muscles and count to five, then release and relax while you count to ten. 
  • Next, flex your core muscles while counting to five, then release for a ten-count. 
  • Finally, tighten your leg muscles while counting to five and release again and count to ten. 
  • Relax your entire body for 30 seconds and then repeat!

In total, you can expect to spend 45-60 min at the blood drive. If you have any questions throughout the process, ask a blood center staff member... we’re here to help!


Enjoy some refreshments and relax while you hang out for about 10 minutes! Keep hydrating the rest of the day and limit exercise and physical activity. You just helped save deserve a break!

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. 

Strive for a Student Impact Award

Our Student Impact Award program recognizes graduates who donate, recruit donors, and/or host blood drives throughout their high school career. Earn a grad cord, gain volunteer hours, and make a difference! Learn more and sign up here.


Text DON8 to 999-777
Call 800-747-5401