Donating blood is a surprisingly simple process, but makes a huge difference to the lives of others. The entire process, from registration to donation, will take about an hour- short and sweet!. These are our steps to guide you through your generous decision to donate:
Eligibility and Registration
1. For various reasons, not all Australians are eligible to donate blood. If you’re a first time donor, take this quick and easy eligibility quiz from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS). ARCBS says that you’re usually the type to donate if you:
- are fit, healthy and haven’t been sick in the last 7 days.
- are aged between 16-70 years (in QLD and WA 16-17 year olds require parental consent)
- weigh more than 45kg
- drink up in the 24 hours before donation and have at least 3 good-sized glasses of water/juice in the 3 hours before donating.
- eat something in the 3 hours before donating
- bring at least one form of photo identification ID.
2. Find a donor centre, book an appointment and register. This involves filling in your personal information including name, address, phone number and other related details.
1. You will be asked to complete a donor questionnaire, which asks you questions regarding your general health. The questionnaire is completely confidential and specifically designed to protect you and the recipient of your donation.
Interview and Physical
1. Each time you donate, you will be interviewed privately and confidentially by a staff member about your health and travel history.
2. You will be given a health check which includes taking your temperature, checking your haemoglobin level and your blood pressure and pulse.
1. After a quick pinch, you will be able to relax while the bag is filling. This only takes about 5-10 minutes for a 470mL whole blood donation (If you are donating platelets, red cells or plasma, collection by apheresis can take up to 2 hours.)
1. After your donation is complete, you will be able to kick back and relax for a few minutes with a yummy bite to eat and drink.
2. It only takes your body about 10-15 minutes to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume and then you’re good to go!
1. Feel like an absolute champion, knowing that you have helped to save the lives of up to three people with your donation!
2. Within 24-48 hours of donating, your blood volume is completely restored. Continue to drink plenty of water and say no to that house party- no alcohol for at least 8 hours and no smoking for 2 hours after your donation.
3. A healthy whole blood donor can donate every 12 weeks, and plasma and platelet donors can donate every 2-3 weeks, so start planning your next visit!