Once you arrive at the blood center or mobile blood drive, staff will check you in and provide an overview of eligibility requirements and information on the blood donation process.
A staff member will take you into a confidential area where you will be asked health history questions. Please answer each question honestly and to the best of your ability.
Staff will take your blood pressure, temperature, pulse and hemoglobin levels to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate blood.
Your phlebotomist will find your most accessible vein and prepare you for the draw. Whole blood donors will donate one pint of blood, usually taking 5-10 minutes. For Apheresis donors (platelet donors), the blood is taken from one arm and collected through a sterile, disposable kit connected to an apheresis machine. Platelets and plasma are taken out of the whole blood and red cells and sterile fluids are returned to the donor (either through the opposite arm or the same arm). While you donate, you can read, play on your phone, watch videos or talk to fellow donors.
The entire process from registration to the snack table usually takes about one hour for whole blood donors, a little over an hour for double red cell donors, and about two hours for platelet donors.