Donor FAQ

What medicines would prevent someone from donating?

In most cases, it is the condition for which the person is taking the medicine(s) that causes him or her to be unable to give blood, not the medication(s). Usually, if the condition is under control the day of the donation, the person is eligible to donate. This includes medicine(s) for high blood pressure and diabetes.

Why not wait until someone I know needs my blood?

A single trauma patient can use many pints of blood. It takes 48 hours to test and process blood. In emergency situ- ations, it’s the blood already donated that saves lives.

Is there anything special I need to do before my donation?

Be sure to eat at your regular mealtimes and drink plenty of fluids. Eat foods rich in iron, since only blood with good iron levels will be accepted for donation.

How will I feel after the donation?

Most people feel absolutely fine, or even great, knowing that they helped save a life! This is especially the case when they’ve eaten regular meals before the donation. Please refrain from exercising the day of your donation.

What age do I have to be to donate blood?

Donors must be at least 17 years old. In Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, 16 year olds may donate with a completed Parental Consent Form. There is no upper age limit on donating.

How often can I donate?

According to FDA regulations, you can donate whole blood every 56 days, platelets up to 24 times a year and double red cells every 112 days.

What happens to my blood after donating?

After donation, your blood undergoes several tests including blood type, hepatitis and HIV. Then it will be available for hospital patients. Your single donation can help save several lives.

What if I don’t feel well the day of the blood drive?

For your protection and to protect the hospital patient receiving your blood, you must be well the day of your donation. If you don’t feel well, please rest, recover and return to your next blood drive to make your lifesaving donation.

Blood Facts

  • On any given day, an average of 38,000 units of red blood cells are needed for hospital patients in the United States.
  • One in 10 people entering a hospital needs blood.
  • Approximately 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood. Of those eligible, only a small percentage
    actually give blood.
  • In the United States, someone needs a blood transfusion about every two seconds.
  • The average adult body contains 10-12 pints of blood. A newborn baby has about one cup of blood in his or her body.
  • There are about one billion red blood cells in two to three drops of blood.
  • Red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days.
  • There is no substitute for human blood. It cannot be manufactured.
  • Almost everyone will know someone who needs blood.
  • Blood is often needed for traumas, heart surgeries, joint-replacement surgeries, organ transplants, premature babies, leukemia and cancer treatments, and much more.
  • People in car accidents who suffer massive blood loss may require transfusions of more than 50 pints of red blood cells.