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Never donated blood before? There’s a first time for everything! Still, you probably know that blood is used all the time to help hospital patients, and transfusions take place constantly. Stick with us, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know about blood donation. Let’s start with …

Your Guide to Donating Blood in 2023

Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Blood is vital for trauma and accident victims, cancer patients and many others, and there’s a constant need for it. Doctors depend on a ready source of blood when performing surgeries and providing other treatments for their patients. What’s more, blood cannot be manufactured and can only come from donors — people like you.

For people who give blood, the biggest motivator is knowing it’s the right thing to do. After all, a single donation could save up to 3 lives, and each patient is somebody’s loved one. So your impact goes even further. Veteran donors understand just how vital their donations are, but they can only do so much — new blood donors are needed to keep the donations flowing. Every blood donor helps us meet patient needs, meaning you play a significant role in our lifesaving mission to help hospital patients in need of blood transfusions.

What Can I Expect About the Donation Process?

Donating blood is easy and perfectly safe. The entire process only takes less than an hour, and the actual donation time only about 10 minutes. And what better way to feel good than by donating blood, which provides you with an opportunity to save the lives of up to 3 people? Learn more about blood donation.

How Can One Blood Donation Save Up to 3 Lives?

Blood is made up of three main components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Your blood donation is divided into those components so that patients will receive the one they need most. Learn more about blood components.

Do I Need to Prepare for My Blood Donation?

You don’t need to prepare for blood donation apart from keeping hydrated and getting a good night’s rest prior to your appointment date. Learn more.

Who Will My Blood Help?

Millions of people require blood transfusions every year. Some hospital patients undergoing major surgery need blood, whereas others may need blood following a terrible accident. Blood also benefits those with chronic blood disorders.Learn more about the impact of your blood donation.

What’s more, people are wounded every day, whether during car or motorcycle accidents, on the job, from domestic violence or gunshot wounds, construction tools or lawnmowers. In fact, a single critically injured patient has the potential to nearly wipe out a hospital’s blood supply.

I Heard Blood Donation Benefits Me. How Is This Possible?

When you donate blood, your cholesterol levels, temperature, pulse and blood pressure are checked. If you’re itching to know if you’re as healthy as you feel, this is a great way to find out while helping others in the process.

Wondering About Your Eligibility?

Here are the basics when it comes to donating blood:

  • You must be at least 16 years old (16- and some 17-year-olds must bring a signed permission form from a parent or guardian, if required by state or school).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Be in good general health.


Learn more about blood donor eligibility.

Can I Donate Blood if I Don’t Know My Blood Type?

Absolutely! If you don’t know your blood type, there’s an easy way to find out — all donors who come to give blood at Vitalant can learn their blood type in a few days after their first visit. Whatever your type, every donor is needed and every donation transforms lives — including your own.

There are also plenty of myths related to giving blood, from travel concerns to tattoos and many others. But don’t let those deter you from saving lives — learn the truth. Check out our web page about this topic, where we break these pesky myths wide open.

You Matter to Patients — a Lot

New blood donors are needed to help keep the donations flowing, and remember that a single blood donation, amounting to only an hour of your time, could save up to three people’s lives, and every patient is somebody’s mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter, which compounds the impact of your donation. Learn about more people who survived because of the selfless actions of blood donors. The time to act is now. Please make your first life-transforming appointment today.

Published by: Jeremy T. — Vitalant Contributor