Donate Blood

Donation Process

Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others. The donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about an hour. The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average.

  • Step 1
    Prepare for Donation

    • Go to donortime.com to find a Community Blood Center branch or mobile blood drive near you and the operating hours.
    • Schedule an appointment.
    • Call 1-800-388-GIVE if you have any questions.

    SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT

     

     

    Helpful Hints

    • Drink plenty of fluids the day of your donation.
    • Wear something comfortable that can be rolled up above the elbow.
    • Bring a list of your current medications.
    • Bring your ID (license, passport, or donor card).
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  • Step 2
    The Donation: Step by Step

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    When You Arrive

    • Sign-in. Be prepared to show your photo ID.
    • Have a seat and fill out a donor registration form, which includes your name, address, phone number, and other information.
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    Your Pre-donation Screening

    • A CBC staff member will ask you some questions about your health, lifestyle, and disease risk factors. All of this information is confidential. 
    • A CBC staff member will perform a short health exam or "mini physical." It involves taking your pulse, temperature, and blood pressure. 
    • The health exam includes a finger prick, taking a drop of blood and testing it to see if your blood iron level (Hematocrit; the ratio of red blood cells) is sufficient for you to donate. (All medical equipment used for this test, and during the donation process, is sterile, used only once and then disposed).
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    Ready to Donate

    • If all your screening meets requirements, you will be directed to a donor bed in the donor room.
    • A phlebotomist will clean your arm with an antiseptic and use a blood donation kit to draw blood from a vein in your arm.  
    • You will donate one unit of blood (about one pint). This takes about six to ten minutes.
    • After removing the needle the phlebotomist will have you elevate your donation arm and apply slight pressure to promote clotting.
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    Visit the Donor Café

    • When you are ready, you can walk to the Donor Café.
    • Have a seat and let the Donor Café worker or volunteer bring you a drink and snack. It's a good idea to relax for about 10 minutes and replenish until you feel strong enough to leave.
    • The entire process usually takes less than one hour.
     

     
  • Step 3
    After Donation

    • Try to increase your fluid intake for the next 24 to 48 hours.
    • Avoid strenuous physical exertion, heavy lifting or pulling with the donation arm for about five hours. 
    • Eat well balanced meals for the next 24 hours.
    • Smoking and alcohol consumption is not recommended.
    • Donors - seldom - experience discomfort after donating. However, if you feel light-headed, lie down until the feeling passes.
    • If some bleeding occurs after removal of the bandage, apply pressure to the site and raise your arm for three to five minutes. 
    • If bruising or bleeding appears under the skin, apply a cold pack periodically to the bruised area during the first 24 hours, then warm, moist heat intermittently. 
    • If you have any questions concerning your donation or experience any unexpected problems, please call CBC at (937) 461-3450.
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