All About Blood

Blood Donation: How does it work?

Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but can make a big difference in the lives of others. The donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes about half an hour.

The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average.

The steps in the process are:


  1. You will complete donor registration, which includes information such as your name, address, phone number, etc.
  2. You will be asked to show your National ID, donor card or any other form of ID.

Health History and Mini Physical

  1. You will answer some questions during a private and confidential interview about your health history and the places you have traveled.
  2. You will have your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure and pulse checked.


  1. The staff person 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.
  2. You will have some time to relax while the bag is filling. (For a whole blood donation, it is about 8-10 minutes. If you are donating platelets, red cells or plasma by apheresis the collection can take up to 2 hours.)
  3. When approximately a pint of blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm.


  1. You will spend a few minutes enjoying refreshments to allow your body time to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume.
  2. After 10-15 minutes you can then leave the donation site and continue with your normal daily activities.
  3. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have helped to save lives.

Make a Platelet (Apheresis) Donation!

Apheresis donations are an essential part of treatment for patients with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions.

Platelet donors are called upon to make a special kind of donation to give select components – platelets, red blood cells, plasma. By becoming a platelet donor, you can make a huge contribution to these critically-ill patients with special transfusion needs.


Platelets are tiny gold-coloured cells in your blood which help it clot and stop bleeding.

Platelets last just 7 days after they’ve been donated so we rely on people to donate regularly throughout the year.

As well as a growing hospital demand for platelets we also need new donors to replace those who can no longer give.

One donation can help up to 3 adults or 12 children.

Who platelets help?

Who can benefit from platelets:

  • 69% of donations go to people with cancer
  • 17% helps people who’ve had surgery
  • 8% helps people with medical conditions
  • 5% goes to adults in intensive care
  • 1% helps babies through intensive treatment

Can you donate platelets?

We’d like to hear from you if you:

  • have A negative, A positive or AB negative blood
  • have given blood or platelets before
  • are aged between 18 and 65
  • have enough blood to donate safely
  • are able to regularly spare up to 2 hours to donate at least 4 times a year
  • can travel to National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank – Candos).