What do we all have in common that instantly connects us and gives us the power to do more? It’s the blood pulsing within each of us. This amazing, ever-replenishing gift is truly a natural resource that, when shared, speeds healing and provides comfort. Lifesaving blood offers second chances and many tomorrows to those who depend on it.
Each year, nearly 5 million Americans need blood transfusions. Blood helps trauma and burn patients, premature infants, heart surgery patients, organ transplant recipients and those fighting cancer, among others. In emergencies, it’s the blood already on hospital shelves that saves lives. Learn more about what makes blood so special.
Donating blood is one of the easiest ways to give back to your community. If you’ve never donated blood before, we encourage you to try! We’ll guide you through every step and answer any questions. Here’s what you can expect, eligibility requirements and things you can do ahead of time to make your experience pleasant and rewarding.
It takes about an hour—from the time you arrive to the time you leave—to complete a whole blood donation. The actual donation time is only about 10 minutes. Whole blood donation is most often given by new donors and is the most common type of donation. We also use special technology to collect specific blood components—red blood cells, platelets and plasma—from donors to best match current patient needs.
Before you roll up your sleeve to help someone else, please take care of yourself:
- Eat a healthy, low-fat meal within two hours ahead of your donation. The day before, eat a salty snack. When you donate blood, you lose about a gram of salt. Replacing it ahead of time helps keep your blood pressure normal.
- Hydrate by drinking 8 to 16 ounces of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages one hour before you donate. Water is a great choice.
- Avoid or limit caffeinated sodas, coffee, iced tea and energy drinks on the day of donation.
Your simple, lifesaving action today has the remarkable power to transform lives for many tomorrows. We are grateful you are in our community and we are inspired by your decision to help others.