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What do I need for my blood donation?

Once you have located a blood drive, you could be asking yourself 'How to I prepare for my blood donation?' We got you covered. Many of our commonly asked questions are below. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Pre-Donation FAQ's

To donate blood, you must be in good health, 16 years of age (16-year-olds need a completed and signed Parental Consent Form) or older, and weigh a minimum of 110 lbs.

You may feel a slight sting or a very minor pinch when the needle is first inserted. It is no different than the feeling you experience when having routine blood work performed.

A whole blood donation is typically one pint of blood.

Whole blood donation takes about 10 – 15 minutes. Automated procedures can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.

Drink plenty of water prior to donating.

Eat a light healthy meal. Avoid fatty foods. Donating blood on an empty stomach is not recommended.

Eat iron rich foods a few days leading up to your blood donation. Your iron levels must be at a certain level in order to donate blood. We will check your iron count prior to your blood donation and if it is too low you will not be able to donate blood that day.

On your blood donation day, wear comfortable clothing, preferably with a short-sleeve shirt. Bring your ID and a list of any medications you are taking.  If you are 16, you’ll need a signed parental consent form.

No. There is no risk of contracting a disease through the donation process. Each collection kit is sterile, pre-packaged and only used once.

OneBlood, and all blood centers in the United States, are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a regulated agency, blood centers are required by law to follow all rules, guidelines and deferral policies put in place by the FDA.

You must be at least 16 years old to donate blood. All 16-years-olds must provide a signed parental/guardian consent form to donate. To view the form, click here. Some schools may require a signed consent form for 17-year-olds. Please check with your school for details.

There is no upper age limit for blood donations as long as you meet all other eligibility requirements.

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How You Can Help

Blood Donor Basics

Blood Donor Basics

Your health is important to us, and we want to help you maintain it.

Blood Donation FAQs

Hosting a Blood Drive

Your help as our community partner is essential to the blood supply.

Donation Methods

Donation Methods

Let your blood type lead the way to donate your powerful lifesaving gift.

Donation Methods

Share Your Story

Help your community understand the impact blood donation has.

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