What Happens When You Donate?

Before Your Donation

  • Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins. Click here for the Iron Rich Foods list.
  • Try to get a good night's sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption the night before your donation.
  • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water prior to your donation.
  • Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. (Fatty foods can affect the tests we do on your blood. If there is too much fat in your blood, your donation cannot be tested for infectious diseases and the blood will not be used for transfusion.)
  • If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
  • Remember to bring your donor card, driver's license or other form of ID.

Donating blood is a simple process. When you arrive at the Blood Donor Services facility, you will be greeted by our registration team where you will be asked to complete a donor history questionnaire.  You will then be escorted to a private health screening room to review your questionnaire and have a minor health exam.

This entire donation process may take up to an hour although the actual time to donate one unit of blood is five to 10 minutes.

Those who donate platelets and plasma will need to set aside roughly two hours, as the process of separating the blood components takes longer.

Donating blood is safe. Sterile, disposable needles and supplies are used once and safely discarded after each donation. You cannot get HIV/AIDS or any other disease by donating blood.

After you donate, we ask that you remain in the facility for about 15 minutes, while we treat you to juice and snacks.

Donating blood may deplete your body's store of iron. Read about Iron Information For Blood Donors here.