Blood Donation Process

Photo of Chris Lindlsey registering a blood drive patientThe blood donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about an hour. While the donation itself takes only about 10 minutes, there are other important steps that are part of this process to ensure both your safety and that of the blood supply.

Here are the steps in the donation process:

Step 1: Registration

  • Red Cross staff and volunteers will sign you in and go over basic eligibility and donation information.
  • You will read information about donating blood, and will be asked to show a donor card, driver's license, or other form(s) of ID.

Step 2: Health History and Mini Physical

  • You will answer some questions during a private and confidential interview about your health history and places you have traveled.
  • The Red Cross will check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level present in a sample of blood.

Step 3: The Donation

  • Red Cross staff will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand new sterile needle for the blood draw. This feels like a quick pinch and is over in seconds.
  • The actual donation takes about 8-10 minutes, during which you will be seated comfortably.
  • When approximately a pint of blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm.

Step 4: Refreshments

  • After donating, you should have a snack and something to drink in the refreshments area. You can leave the site after 10-15 minutes and continue with your normal daily activities.
  • Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have helped save lives.