What You Need to Know About Donating Blood

Every day, healthcare facilities need blood donations. Hospitals like CHI St. Luke’s Health rely on people from the community to donate blood. While donating one unit of blood only takes a few minutes, it can save as many as three lives. If you’d like to help people in need, here’s what you need to know about donating blood.

Who Can Donate Blood?

Donating blood should be safe for both the donor and the recipient. To donate, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be in good health.
  • Be at least 17 years old (or 16 with signed parental consent).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds if you’re 19 years or older, or weigh at least 122 pounds if you’re between 16 and 18 years old.
  • Have a valid photo ID.

How to Donate Blood

If you want to give blood to save lives, search for a blood drive or donation center near you or visit the Blood Donor Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. Once you find a place, date, and time, here’s what you should do on the day of your donation:

  • Fill out your health history using CFLexpress and print your ticket. You can also fill this form out at the donation center.
  • Eat a hearty meal and drink plenty of water.
  • Bring a valid photo ID with you.

When you arrive to give blood, a staff member will ask you questions about your health history in private. You’ll also have a mini physical (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature check) and get your blood type and red blood cell count checked. From there, you’ll head to a donation bed where a crew member will clean your arm and start the donation. It only takes about 10 minutes to donate one unit of blood.

What to Do After Donating Blood

Once you finish, you should drink water, eat a snack, and sit for 15 minutes. From there, you can schedule your next donation. If you feel ill or lightheaded, stay seated and let a staff member know. Keep your bandage in place and avoid vigorous physical activity for the rest of the day.

If you want to have a greater impact on your community, join CHI St. Luke’s Health's eDonor Program to help increase Texas Gulf Coast’s blood supply. Your donation makes a big impact in the lives of patients in our hospital and those in need of CHI St. Luke’s Health Emergency Services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center | What to Expect
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center | Who Can Donate Blood?
FDA | Donating Blood Questions and Answers

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