Feel Prepared. Give Blood.

When you give blood, you’ll feel good about saving someone else’s life.

Who knows, it might be your friend, co-worker or even, a member of your own family.

We are thankful to our donors for helping us maintain an ample blood supply.

To meet our community blood supply needs, we depend on people like you to make blood donations every day of the year. We know you will feel good about saving lives, but we also want you to feel good while you donate!

Watch this video and read the tips below on what you can do to make your donation as pleasant and comfortable as possible.


STEP 1: Before donating

  • Eat well, try to always include iron-rich foods in your diet. These foods include: beef, pork, poultry (chicken, turkey), fish, lamb, clams, oysters, nuts, raisins, peas, spinach and other dark, leafy greens.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Drinking water 30 minutes before giving blood has been found to improve the donation experience.
Drinking fluids before your donation helps maintain good circulation throughout your body, and helps prevent light-headedness.

And, please bring a photo ID with you. When you arrive, there will be a brief registration process.

STEP 2: Donor registration
When you arrive, there will be a brief registration process.  This includes a scan of your fingertip that is converted to a unique binary code for secure, convenient identification each time you donate.  It is similar to the scans used to obtain your driver’s license and at libraries and schools. Using a computer touch screen you will complete a series of donor questions, including your name, address, phone number, etc. You will be asked a few questions about your health.

STEP 3: Receive a mini-physical
Next, you will receive a mini-physical to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate blood. This includes checking your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and iron level.

STEP 4: Blood donation
You will be asked to recline in a donor chair. One of our phlebotomists will prepare your arm, sanitizing it and asking you to squeeze your fist to increase blood circulation. Because sterile, disposable, one-use-only supplies are used for your donation, there is no risk of getting a disease from giving blood. The blood collection will be started and typically lasts about 20 minutes to donate one unit (about a pint).

STEP 5: After your donation - juice and cookies
Now, you’ve earned a snack! We encourage you to relax in our refreshment area and enjoy some juice and cookies to replenish your body before you take on the rest of your day. Refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous physical work for 24 hours. Listen to your body’s signals during the next day. Have a seat, slow down and rest if you find yourself feeling unusual. Should you have any medical concerns or questions, call us day or night at the phone number listed on the card you received at the end of your donation.

The best part is how you’ll feel, knowing you have made a lifesaving difference for someone in need.

One way to prevent feeling light-headed or dizzy during blood donation is to do Applied Muscle Tension (AMT) exercises. These muscle-tensing exercises are done by “dividing” your body by major muscle group regions and tightening one of the regions while silently counting to five.

Then, release and relax the same muscles and count to five. When you complete one cycle, select another muscle region, and repeat the tightening and relaxing exercise.

Here’s how it works:

AMT exercises

This information is reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner, Christopher R. France. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission.


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Bob Grant