Most people are able to donate blood. In general, anyone 17 (16 with parental consent) and older who is in good health and weighs 110 pounds or more is eligible to donate. There is no upper age limit and the ability to donate depends on your health.
How much blood is taken during one donation?
The amount of blood taken is approximately one pint; it's equivalent to roughly 10% of your total blood volume.
Does donating blood hurt?
You will feel a slight pinch when the needle is inserted into your arm. Most people do not find this uncomfortable.
Can one donation really help?
Very much so, yes! Each blood donation has the potential to become multiple products and help multiple people.
Is Apheresis donation safe?
Yes! New sterile donation equipment including needle, tubing and collection bags are used for each donor. Each donation is closely supervised throughout the procedure by trained staff.
How long does a unit of blood last before it expires?
Red Cells: 42 days
Platelets: 5 days
Plasma: 1 year (frozen)
Cryoprecipitate: 1 year (frozen)
Can I donate blood if I have diabetes?
Yes, if your diabetes is controlled by diet, oral medication or insulin (including an insulin pump). However, donors who have received bovine insulin that was manufactured since 1980 from cattle in the United Kingdom are indefinitely deferred.
Why are the interview questions so personal?
We ask a group of intensely personal questions about behavior and sexual activity. These questions have to do with behavior that puts people at greater risk of catching or spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The US Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency that regulates blood centers, says we have to ask those questions of every donor every time.
How long do I have to wait to donate blood after getting a new tattoo?
As long as you got your tattoo in a CA regulated tattoo parlor by a licensed artist, you only have to wait one month in order to donate. If the tattoo hasn't fully healed or is infected, you must wait until it's healed and healthy.
Who needs blood?
5% of all hospitalized patients receive blood transfusions; the average amount of blood a patient will use is approximately three pints. The most frequent users are patients with cancer, leukemia, heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, traumas, anemia and liver disease.
Can I get a disease from donating blood?
Not at all. The supplies and equipment used are new and sterile and are then disposed of after use.
How often can I donate?
A person donating whole blood can donate every 56 days, or 6 times a year. A person donating platelets has the potential to donate every 7 days but no more than 24 times in a year. A person donating plasma can donate every 28 days.
What is Apheresis?
Through the process called Automated Blood Collection (ABC), donors can safely give many times the amount of plasma, platelets, or red blood cells (RBCs) than can be obtained from a whole blood donation. Blood is drawn from the arm through sterile tubing into a centrifuge, and the force of the centrifuge causes the blood to separate into components that vary in weight and in density. The plasma, platelet, and RBCs are then drawn into a collection bag, while the remaining blood components are returned to you with an added saline solution.
Can I donate blood if I'm pregnant?
You may not donate blood if you are pregnant or have been in the past six weeks.
Can I donate blood if I've had surgery?
Yes, if healing is complete and you have been released by your physician, as long as the underlying condition would not cause you to be deferred as a donor. If you received a transfusion, you must wait 12 months before you give (unless you received your own blood in an autologous transfusion).
Will I get a bruise from donating?
Bruising is one type of reaction that can occur with blood donation. Please call the blood center staff if the bruising is painful or concerns you in any way.
How long do I have to wait to donate blood after getting a piercing?
As long as you got your piercing done professionally and its healed/free of infection you're welcome to donate.
Can I really develop allergies by receiving a transfusion?
Yes! Temporarily. if you're a child. America's Blood Centers says that "This phenomenon has been recognized since at least the 1970s, and remains very rare, with <10 reports in the English language literature since then."