The Blood Donation Process
Over the next several months, donors will begin to notice a few changes in the Donor Collections area and our Canteen. These changes are being implemented as additional measures to help ensure the safety of our donors, and decrease the possibility of donor reactions. Click here to read more about these new practices.
Step 1: Commit
• Visit GIVEaPINT.org, call 1-800-B-A-DONOR, or contact your coordinator.
• From registration to refreshment it takes about an hour to donate a pint of whole blood or 90-120 minutes to donate double red blood cells and/or platelets. Please plan accordingly when scheduling as your safety is important to us.
Step 2: Eat
• Be sure to eat a hearty meal before donation.
Step 3: Hydrate
• Drinking plenty of water or non-caffeinated drinks will help to ensure that you have a pleasant donating experience.
Step 4: Identify Yourself
• Present your photo ID Card or MKBC donation card.
Step 5: Health History
• A trained staff member will check your temperature, blood pressure and pulse.
• A drop of your blood will also be taken to ensure your iron level is adequate for donation.
• All questions are asked in private and all information gathered is kept strictly confidential.
Step 6: Donate
• A trained staff member will clean the area of the arm that will be used for your blood donation.
• Once the needle is placed, squeeze the hand grip to keep the blood flowing.
• Once the needle is placed it usually takes less than 10 minutes to draw a pint of whole blood, or approximately 60-90 minutes to donate two red cell units or platelets.
• We will ask you to perform a muscle tension technique to help decrease the chance of reaction.
• After your donation is complete, the needle is removed and a pressure wrap will be applied.
• Keep your bandage on and dry for the rest of the day.
Step 7: Relax and Replenish
• We request that you stay at least 20 minutes in our Canteen, and to know when your time is up, we ask that you kindly sign in and sign out.
• Sit back, relax and have a snack on us!
• We will provide snacks that will help replenish your fluid levels after donating. This includes an emphasis on salty snacks, because salt will help replenish your body's sodium level.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Good Deed
• Be sure to drink plenty of water or non-caffeinated drinks for the rest of the day to restore your fluid balance.
• Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
• If you feel light-headed, lie down until you are feeling better.
• If you have any questions or concerns regarding your donation, call the Blood Center at 1-800-B-A-DONOR to speak with a blood center representative.