We are encouraging blood donations now and in the next 8 weeks to ensure adequate supplies during the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19).  We are working to prevent shortages locally. We are monitoring credible health agencies for updates on COVID-19 and are responding accordingly. For blood drive sponsor groups that are considering cancelling drives, please work with us on potential options to re-direct donors. There is no known risk to the safety of the nation’s blood supply except for lack of donations and there are no reports of spread of this respiratory virus, by blood transfusion. Giving blood is critical to ensure an adequate supply to meet patient needs.  Click here for more information about our response to COVID-19.

Blood donation is permitted under the Stay at Home directive in the State of Illinois.
Click here for more information from the Department of Homeland Security.

The Basics of Donating Blood

graphic illustrating requirements of giving blood

Donor Eligibility Handout  Parental Consent Form  Consent Form (Spanish)


Before

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)

During

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! 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!

After

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 lives...you 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 an IMPACT Award

Formerly known as the Gallon Grad program, our Donor for Life IMPACT Award now includes additional options for achieving this recognition at graduation. You can refer donors and host your own blood drive along with donating personally! 

checklist for donating blood