Memorial Health University Medical Center (MHUMC) partners with the American Red Cross to provide life-saving blood for patients in need.
Donated blood is used almost as quickly as it is collected. A single car accident victim may use 50 units of blood in just a few hours. In fact, up to three lives can be saved with one pint of whole blood. A steady supply of blood is also needed for children and adults receiving cancer treatment, surgery, transfusions, and numerous other medical procedures at MHUMC. The need is great and on-going. Please consider giving today.
Blood Donation Requirements
To ensure the safety of both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood. Blood donors must:
- Be healthy*
- Be at least 17 years old
- Weigh at least 110 pounds (Additional weight requirements apply for donors under age 18)
* Note: Healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.
Additional requirements apply to double red cell donors.
The Blood Donation Process
Donating blood is a simple thing that can make a big difference in the lives of others. The entire process takes about an hour. The donation itself is only about 8 to 10 minutes. Please note that special donations such as platelets, red cells, or plasma by apheresis can take up to two hours. The steps in the process are:
You will complete donor registration, which includes information such as your name, address, phone number, and donor identification number, if you have one. You will be asked to show a donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification.
Health History and Mini Physical
You will have a private and confidential interview about your health history and the places you have traveled. Your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure, and pulse will be checked.
We 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. You can sit and relax while the bag is filling. When approximately a pint of blood has been collected, the donation is complete. A technician will remove the needle and place a bandage on your arm.
You will spend a few minutes enjoying refreshments to allow your body time to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume. After 10 to 15 minutes, you can then leave the donation site and continue with your normal daily activities. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have helped to save lives. Your gift of blood may help up to three people. Donated red blood cells do not last forever. They have a shelf-life of up to 42 days. A healthy donor may donate every 56 days.
What should I do after donating blood?
- Drink an extra four glasses (eight ounces each) of non-alcoholic liquids.
- Keep your bandage on and dry for the next five hours, and do not do heavy exercising or lifting.
- If the needle site starts to bleed, raise your arm straight up and press on the site until the bleeding stops.
- Because you could experience dizziness or loss of strength, use caution if you plan to do anything that could put you or others at risk of harm.
- For any hazardous occupation or hobby, follow applicable safety recommendations regarding your return to these activities after blood donation.
- Eat healthy meals and consider adding iron-rich foods to your regular diet, or talk to your healthcare provider about an iron supplement to replace the iron lost with blood donation.
- If you get a bruise, apply ice to the area intermittently for 10 to 15 minutes during the first 24 hours. Thereafter, apply warm, moist heat to the area intermittently for 10 to 15 minutes. A rainbow of colors may occur for about 10 days.
- If you get dizzy or lightheaded, stop what you are doing, lie down, and raise your feet until the feeling passes and you feel well enough to safely resume activities.