Those who give the gift of blood are helping everybody. We’re here to help answer any questions you may have about the blood donation process.
Why should I donate blood?
Blood is needed daily to assist patients in local hospitals and cannot be manufactured. Your donation could be used for cancer treatments, surgeries, organ transplants, newborns, severe burns and trauma. Every time you donate, you are saving lives!
How will I feel after the donation?
Most people feel great knowing they have helped save a life! A few may feel sluggish or weak immediately after donation.
Is blood donation safe? Does it hurt?
Not only is it safe, it is simple and it saves lives. You cannot contract AIDS or any other disease by donating blood. The materials used during your donation are new, sterile and discarded after each donation. At the time of the needle stick you will feel a minor pinch at the site.
How long is the donation process?
A whole-blood donation itself takes about 6-8 minutes. The entire donation process, from registration to post-donation refreshments, takes about one hour.
Is there anything special I need to do before my donation?
Three simple things: Eat up! Drink up! And Get Moving!
Iron and Vitamin C: Combining foods rich in iron and Vitamin C will boost your body’s strength. Think green veggies and citrus fruits.
Salty snacks: A healthy amount of salty snacks can help make your next blood donation a positive experience. Pretzels, anyone?
But don’t skip meals: Think of blood donation as a normal part of your day. Don’t skip or add meals to your normal routine. Just add in some healthy snacks.
Hydration is important before and after your donation. The more water you drink the easier your blood moves through your body and the quicker you can replace the pint you gave!
In the moments before and during your donation do simple tension exercises. Tense the muscles in your arms, legs or core for a few seconds, then relax and repeat. These simple moves will keep your blood moving for a relaxing donation!
Do I need to bring anything with me to donate?
All you need is a photo ID with proof of age, like your driver’s license, a positive attitude and a giving heart. If you are 15, or 16 years old, please bring a signed LifeStream Young Donor Consent form.
How often can I donate?
You can safely donate whole blood every 56 days. Plasma donors may donate once a month and platelet donors may donate every two weeks.