What to Expect

Steps in the Blood Donation Process:

  1. expect-picA donor card is filled out for you. You will be asked questions to make sure that you are healthy enough to donate. This is for your safety, as well as for the patient who receives your blood.
  2. Next you are given a mini-physical. The technician checks your blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, and the iron content of your blood. If these are within normal limits, you are ready to give blood.
  3. While donating blood, you will recline in a comfortable chair. Blood will be drawn through a needle in the bend of your arm. The donation itself takes approximately 4 to 10 minutes.
  4. After your donation, you will sit and rest for 5 to 10 minutes to enjoy refreshments. The entire blood donation process takes approximately 45 minutes.
  5. Be sure to eat nourishing meals and drink plenty of liquids for 24 hours after your blood donation.

What to Expect During Platelet/Plasma Donation:


  • The PlateletApheresis process only takes about one-two hours.
  • A needle will be inserted into one arm. The needle will be inserted in a similar manner to that of whole blood donation.
  • Approximately 200 ml (1/2 pint) of platelets will be donated during the process. An additional 400 ml (one pint) of plasma also may be donated during the same process.
  • You can donate platelets every 14 days (two weeks), unlike the 56-day (eight week) deferral for whole blood donors.
  • On rare occasions, you may experience slight reactions during your donation, such as tingling around your lips and nose or a slight chill. These reactions are due to the anticoagulant or liquid used to reduce clotting during the process. A trained professional will monitor your donation and may offer a chewable calcium supplement to reduce these reactions.