Why should I give blood?

Blood donors save lives. It’s that simple and that important. More than four million Americans would die each year, if not for blood donors. In our community alone, more than 50 people a day must donate blood in order to maintain the blood supply in Eastern Polk County.

How long does a routine blood donation take?

Allow about 30 minutes to 45 minutes for the entire process, which includes your mini-physical, donation and a brief stay in our donor area for refreshments. The actual blood donation will take only 6 to 10 minutes.

Can I donate if I am on medication?

Most medications are okay for donating blood, including common medications for asthma, allergies, high cholesterol, blood pressure, depression and other mood disorders. Very few medications on their own prevent people from donating. Examples of medications that will prevent blood donations include Proscar (30 days from last dose) and Avodart (six months from last dose).

If you are donating platelets, you must refrain from taking aspirin or products containing aspirin for 48 hours prior to donation. You can take aspirin if you are donating whole blood; however, we will not be able to use the platelets portion of your donation for transfusion.

Can I donate if I am anemic?

We don’t test for iron, but as long as your hemoglobin/hematocrit level is normal at the time of donation, you can donate. We test your hemoglobin before you donate each time with a simple finger stick test.

Can I donate if I am diabetic?

Your diabetes needs to be stable if type 1, and as long as it’s under control, whether by diet, taking medications or insulin, you can donate.

Can I donate if I have a tattoo?

If the tattoo was done at a licensed establishment in Florida, you can donate after it is clean, dry and pain-free. Please call 863-297-1840 if your tattoo was done elsewhere. In general, we accept donors who have had recent tattoos in states that use sterile needles and do not reuse ink.

Can I donate if I have high blood pressure?

As long as your blood pressure is not higher than 180/100 you can donate blood. Many people take medications to control their blood pressure and that’s okay. If your blood pressure is too high when you come to donate, we may wait a few minutes and take it again to see if it goes down. If it does, you can continue the donation process.

Blood Donor Basics

When you donate whole blood with the Winter Haven Hospital Community Blood Center, your blood stays here, helping local patients. The whole process takes an hour or less – and in the end, you walk away saving up to three lives.

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