Frequently asked questions

What’s involved in donating blood?

Whether you donate at a mobile drive or at a center, your experience will involve the same steps. You can drop in, but making an appointment in advance helps us give you the best experience possible. The process is easy and safe. Bring photo id with you. You will be registered, and fill out a questionnaire to confirm that you are eligible to donate that day. After a short interview and health check with the technician, you will be on the cot for your donation. Afterwards, you’ll be invited to refreshments, and then be on your way.

I am not sure if I am eligible to donate. How can I find out?

Your questions may be answered on our eligibility page. If you have a specific question regarding your eligibility to donate blood and would like to discuss it with someone, you can email clinicalprogram@bloodworksnw.org  or call 1-800-366-2831, extension 2543.

What are the different types of blood that can be donated?

You can find details on different types of donations here. The most common is a whole blood donation, which usually takes less than one hour in total. You can do apheresis donations of platelets, plasma, or double red cells – a process that takes 90 – 120 minutes. We can help you determine what works best for you, and how your donation can help patients most.

Where can I donate?

You can find a list of centers here. All of our centers have parking onsite or nearby.

Or you can find current listings of mobile drives here — so you can donate near where you live, work or go to school.

Are there travel restrictions for blood donation?

Yes, recent trips or a history of travel to some regions can make you ineligible to donate. You can find out more here.

Why are some people not eligible to donate?

Most people in general good health can donate, but some medical conditions or events in your medical history might prevent a person from being a donor. For information about whether a medical condition impacts your ability to donate, you can learn more here. Or you can call email or call privately to have your question answered. Email clinicalprogram@bloodworksnw.org  or call 1-800-366-2831, extension 2543.

Is there a weight limit or other physical factors that might affect my ability to donate?

There are some minimum weight limits that can affect your ability to donate. You can find more information here.

Does getting a vaccination affect your ability to donate?

For some vaccinations there might be a waiting period before you can donate. You can learn more here.

Are there some medications (prescription or over-the-counter) that affect your ability to donate?

For antibiotics, you need to wait 7 days after you have completed your prescription before you can donate. For many over the counter medications, you can still donate. You can learn more here.

What should I do on the day I donate?

Get a good night’s sleep. Eat a healthy meal, and drink water to stay hydrated. Be in good health: if you have a flu or cold, wait until you’re back to normal before donating.

Should I be concerned about fainting?

Occasionally, people feel faint during or after donation — most often the first time they donate. Our people are there to keep you safe. Many people who feel faint the first time come back again many times as regular donors.

What activities should I avoid after donating?

Drink an extra fluids, and avoid alcohol for the next 24 hours. Also, do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for 24 hours. Keep the strip bandage on your arm for at least 4 hours.

Can I schedule an appointment online?

Yes, online appointments can be schedule here. Registering online will make it easy to schedule appointments and keep your contact information up to date.

Can I request a donor card?

Yes, donor cards are available at our centers and blood drives. The next time you donate, please request a card and we will print it out when you register to donate.

If you prefer to have a card mailed to you, or a printable version emailed to you, please fill out the online donor card request form here.

How frequently can I donate?

You can donate whole blood once every 56 days. Platelet and plasma donations take 90 minutes to 2 hours, but you can give much more frequently. Double red cells can be donated every 4 months. You can learn more here.

I need to update my contact information, can I do that online?

Yes, once you have set up your account you can go online and update your information. You can also send your updated contact information to schedule@bloodworksnw.org.

When I'm eligible to donate again, can I get an email or text reminder?

Yes, sign up for the email reminders here. We will introduce a text reminder feature soon.

How do I organize a blood drive?

Who should I contact about your donor recruitment program?

Contact one of our donor recruitment representatives. You can find their contact information here.

Can I make a financial donation?

Yes, financial contributions are vital in keeping BloodworksNW on the cutting edge of research. Learn more about giving a financial gift here.

Where can I learn about iron and blood donation?

Are there special considerations when considering donation?

Sometimes there are special considerations that impact donation like international health issues. Go here to find out if there are any issues that are creating special considerations for donation.

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