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Donation Process

Community Blood Center / Donation Process

Donation Process

Before donating people should eat and be well hydrated. It is recommended that donors hydrate the night before and continue to hydrate on donation day as well as for 24 hours after donation.

The entire process to donate a pint of blood from the time you arrive until the time you depart takes about 45 minutes. The actual blood draw only takes about 7-10 minutes and requires you to:

  • Present valid photo ID such as a driver’s license, government issued ID, NCH Community Blood Center donor card.
  • Read donor information and a medication deferral list.
  • Complete a confidential donor history questionnaire form that includes questions about your health, travel and medication history.
  • Enter a confidential room where you will receive a mini health-exam to have your temperature, blood pressure and pulse checked. Staff will privately review your donor history questionnaire and further discuss your health history. We will also check your percentage of red cells (hematocrit) with a quick finger stick. You must fall within a specific hematocrit range to donate. Personnel will also provide written post donation instructions and you will be afforded the opportunity to ask questions before you donate.
  • Proceed to a donor chair where your arm will be cleansed with an antiseptic and then your blood will be drawn.
  • Once your donation is taken, you will have a band aid placed over the venipuncture site and then your arm will be wrapped with a bandage. Additional post donation instructions will be discussed.
  • Following your donation, you will receive refreshments.
  • After the donation: It is recommended that donors increase their fluid intake for the next 24 hours, eat balanced meals, avoid strenuous physical activity and no heavy lifting. Alcohol consumption is not recommended after donating. People should wait 30-60 minutes before smoking.
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