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Give Blood
Am I eligible to donate blood?
What should I expect at a blood drive?
Where can I donate?
New Appointment System
What are Double Red donations?
What is Apheresis?
How often can I donate?
What is the best donation procedure for me?

What Should I Expect at a Blood Drive?

Giving blood takes four steps

Confidential Health History

To begin, you complete a confidential form with your name, address and general information about your health history.

Important Checks

A Red Cross staff person will take a drop of blood from a finger to ensure your hematocrit levels are safe to donate blood, and will check your blood pressure, pulse and temperature.

Blood Donation

Blood is then collected using a sterile, single-use needle. As your donation begins, you will feel a slight pinch. In about 10 minutes, you will have completed your blood donation. Slightly less than a pint of blood is taken (most adults have 10 to 12 pints of blood).


Lastly, you will be asked to relax while you enjoy refreshments. This will help your body adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume (your body replaces that fluid within 24 hours). You can then leave, knowing that you may have just helped to save several lives by donating blood.

Getting Ready

There are several things you can do to ensure a good donation experience. You'll want a good night's sleep the night before donation. In addition, it is recommended that you have a good breakfast or lunch with plenty of liquids like milk, juice or soda ahead of time.

After Your Donation

In addition, donors are encouraged to do the following:

Our nursing telephone number is 1-800-462-9400, ext. 2210 (Monday Friday, 8:00 a.m. 4:30 p.m.). During other hours, please call the same number and listen for the appropriate option. If you call, you will be asked for your whole blood number (blood unit number).

© 2006. American Red Cross. Connecticut Blood Services Center.