The four steps of blood donation

Whole blood donation is completed in four steps. The entire process, from registration to refreshments, takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. The blood collection takes approximately 10 minutes.

Step 1: Registration

Upon arrival at the Blood Center or mobile blood drive you will be asked for a photo ID and given a registration form to complete along with some educational material about blood donation.

Step 2: Health history interview and brief physical examination

Health history interview

A trained technician or nurse will ask you health history questions in a private and confidential interview. Following the interview the technician will take your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and a drop of blood to test your hemoglobin level to ensure that you are eligible to donate.

Step 3: The donation

Preparing for blood donation

The technician or nurse will prepare the venipuncture site and gently insert the sterile needle. Lidocaine is available to numb the area beforehand if desired.  Approximately one pint of blood will be collected. This takes about 10 minutes. After the blood draw is complete the staff member will gently remove the needle and bandage your arm.

Step 4: Rest and refreshments

Rest and refreshments

Once blood donation is complete we ask that you rest for 15 minutes while enjoying some snacks and beverages. This rest time allows your body to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid. After the rest period you may resume your normal activities, though strenuous activity should be avoided for 24 hours.

To make an appointment to donate blood, email the Blood Center or call 831-625-4814.