Blood Drives at UM BWMC
Due to the recent cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maryland, we are canceling our group events and meetings until further notice. This is being done to protect our patients, staff and visitors. We will announce on this page and on our Facebook and Instagram pages when classes will resume as normal.
To find out if a program has a virtual option, please contact the program coordinator or the Community Outreach department at 410-553-8103.
Thank you for your understanding.
Give the Gift of Life
Each blood drive is held in the Dr. Constantine Padussis Conference Center on the third floor of UM BWMC.
The need for blood is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. You will feel good knowing you've helped change a life. All UM BWMC sponsored blood drives are open to the public. Schedule your appointment for an upcoming drive.
Thank you for your generosity.
Why Donate Blood?
- Blood cannot be manufactured- it can only come from generous donors.
- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- A unit of blood could save up to three lives.
- UM BWMC transfuses about 600 units of packed red blood cells each month. That adds up to 7,200 units a year!
Who Can Give Blood?
To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood. Donors must:
- Be healthy
- Be at least 17 years old
- Weigh at least 110 pounds
Additional details of each donor's health are discussed in a confidential setting prior to blood donation. View a complete list of donor eligibility requirements.
What Can You Expect?
Donating blood is a safe, simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments. The entire blood donation process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, take about an hour and 15 minutes with the actual blood donation typically taking between 10 and 12 minutes.
Before Your Donation
- Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Drink an extra 16 oz. of water and fluids before the donation.
- Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods.
- If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
- Remember to bring your donor card, driver's license or two other forms of ID.
Double Red Cell Donation
Save time and make your donation go further:
If you are extremely busy, committed to donating blood and an eligible type O, A negative or B negative donor, double red cell donation may be ideal for you. Each procedure lets you give more of the product that is needed most by patients. Double red cell donation takes about 20-30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and you can donate approximately every four months.
With all of your platelets and plasma returned to you along with some saline, you don't lose the liquid portion of your blood and may feel more hydrated after your donation.
Double red cell donation is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning your plasma and platelets to you. Learn more about double red cell donations.