Blood Donation FAQ
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Anyone who is least 16 years old, weighs at least 110 pounds, and enjoys generally good health.
You should not have cold, flu or sore throat symptoms, and your blood’s iron level should be adequate. There is no upper age
limit, and even prescription medications do not necessarily disqualify you.
You should not donate blood if you are pregnant (or have been in the past six weeks), had hepatitis since age 10, had major
surgery within the past year or participated in activities that put you at risk for the HIV/AIDS virus.
Blood collection takes 10 minutes or less, but we will also collect information, conduct a mini-physical (including a blood
pressure test) and provide light refreshment. Allow about an hour for the entire process (2 hours for platelet collection.)
You will not even have to change your diet before donating.
Donating blood is a safe process. Needles and bags used to collect blood are used only once and then discarded, making spread
of infection to the donor not possible.
Most reasons for which donors are turned away from donating blood are temporary, not permanent. For example, one common reason
for a deferral is low iron level in the blood, but iron levels fluctuate daily and are affected by what you eat. A "mini-physical"
is given to all potential donors to ensure they are healthy enough to donate.
Regulations in the United States allow people to donate whole blood once every 56 days. The waiting period between donations can
be different for other blood components. For example, donating only platelets in a process called apheresis requires only a 3 day
wait before a person can give again. Donating two units of red blood cells through a similar process doubles the waiting period
to 112 days.
Yes. The health history will be conducted by a trained professional in an individual booth arranged to preserve confidentiality.
Your answers will be kept confidential, except where required by law. If your blood tests positive to any of the administered
standard tests, you will receive confidential notification. Florida Blood Services maintains strict confidentiality of all blood donor
A blood donation equals approximately one pint of blood. The average adult body has 10-12 pints. The vast majority of people will
not feel any different because of the donation. A very small percentage may experience temporary dizziness, but some rest and
fluids will help you feel better quickly. Your body will replace the lost fluid within 24 hours.
You'll want a good night's sleep the night before, and a good breakfast or lunch before your donation. Drink fluids like juice,
milk, or soda ahead of time. Take your normal medications as prescribed. Ensure you have adequate iron level by making iron-rich
foods part of your daily diet. These include red meat, poultry, fish, green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals, nuts,
raisins, and prunes. During your donation, relax. After your donation, have some juice and cookies. Then you
can go about your daily activities, but avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for the remainder of the day.
Under normal circumstances eligible donors are encouraged to donate as often as possible. Please call 1-800-68-BLOOD or
schedule an appointment online. During emergency circumstances please listen to media reports in your area and donate as requested.
Florida Blood Services is a volunteer donor supported organization. We do not pay for blood donations. FDA rules say that blood
used for transfusions cannot be "bought." Studies show that volunteer donors provide a safer blood supply.