Your presence here is voluntary. You may leave at any time. If you do decide to leave, please inform one of our donor centre team members
Drinking fluids and eating salty snacks before and after your donation will help maintain your blood volume and improve your donation experience.
Let us know if you are feeling dizzy or unwell at any time during your visit.
Let us know if you are allergic to latex or the powder used in medical gloves.
Whether or not you donate, your information may be kept on file.
Before you donate...
Have something to eat in the hours before you donate. Avoid fatty foods such as bacon or fried foods.
You will complete a questionnaire.
Drink at least 500 ml of water and eat a salty snack just before donating.
We will confirm your identity.
We will check your:
hemoglobin with a finger stick test
We may check your blood pressure.
While you donate...
The needle used during your donation is sterile, used only once and then discarded.
We will collect about 450 ml of blood.
The collection process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
We will ask you to do muscle tensing exercises while you donate and before getting up.
Please alert a member of our team if you are not feeling well during your donation.
After you donate...
We will apply a pressure bandage on your arm.
You are encouraged to stay in the refreshment area for about 15 minutes to re-hydrate and have a snack. If you feel faint sit down and rest for a few minutes with your head between your knees or lie down.
After you leave the donor centre...
Continue to drink plenty of fluids such as water or juice (avoid alcoholic beverages) throughout the rest of your day.
When you get home, remove the bandage and wash the donation area with soap and water to prevent a rash.
You should avoid strenuous activity for six to eight hours and heavy lifting for 24 hours after giving blood.
If you feel faint and you are driving, pull over. Resume driving only when you have fully recovered or call for help.
Jobs that expose you to risk (such as bus drivers and heavy equipment operators) may also require some time off.
A small number of donors may:
Feel tired for a day or two.
Develop a bruise, redness or a rash at the needle site:
Apply ice on and off if there is swelling.
For discomfort, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours you may take acetaminophen, ASA (Aspirin) or other antiinflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin.
Feel faint, dizzy and/or nauseated.
Faint and/or have muscle spasms.
Suffer nerve damage, arm pain or numbness:
Apply ice on and off if there is swelling.
For discomfort, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, take ASA (Aspirin) or other antiinflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin.
Consult a health care provider if any of these symptoms persist or are concerning to you.
Hemoglobin and iron
Your red cells are rich in hemoglobin which contains iron.
Because your donation contains red cells, you will lose some iron. Those most at risk of developing iron deficiency due to blood donation are:
Young donors 17 to 25 years old.
Frequent blood donors (twice a year for women and three times a year for men).
Iron deficiency due to blood donation can be prevented.
A diet rich in iron is advised for all donors but may not be enough to replenish the iron lost from your blood donation.
Ask your health care provider about the need to check your iron stores (ferritin test).
Replenish the iron lost in donation with a daily iron pill taken for two months.
Check with your health care provider before starting iron supplementation as it may be harmful in some individuals or mask an underlying medical condition.
If untreated, iron deficiency can lead to anemia (low hemoglobin)
Symptoms of anemia include fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance.
HIV and hepatitis
Sexual contact1 or the sharing of needles or syringes can contribute to the spread of HIV and hepatitis.
Because the tests for HIV and hepatitis cannot detect all infections, you will be asked about certain risk activities.
You will be asked if you have had a new sexual partner in the last 3 months. A new sexual partner means the following:
someone with whom you have not had sex before or
someone with whom you had a past sexual relationship that ended, and with whom you have started having sex again in the last 3 months.
1 Sexual contact means the following, even if a condom or barrier device was used:
Vaginal intercourse (contact between the penis and vagina).
Oral sex (mouth or tongue on someone’s vagina, penis or anus).
Anal intercourse (contact between the penis and anus).
Testing your blood before transfusion...
We will test your blood group (ABO and Rh) on every donation. Your blood will also be tested for the following infectious diseases as they are known to spread to others through blood:
Tested with every donation:
Hepatitis B virus*
Hepatitis C virus*
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)*
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)*
Tested as required:
West Nile virus*
Hepatitis E virus
Hepatitis A virus
Other tests may be done on some donations as required. These include testing for other blood groups, screening for uncommon hemoglobins if your blood is used for patients with special needs, and ferritin (iron stores).
You will be informed of unusual results from any of the tests that we perform.
*If the test result is abnormal:
You will be notified.
Your blood will not be used.
You will no longer be eligible to donate (with the exception of West Nile Virus)
The public health office will be informed of positive test results, as required by law.
Did you know?
You can create your personal online account at myaccount.blood.ca. You can schedule and manage your donation bookings, donor preferences and much more.
You can also download the GiveBlood app. The GiveBlood app makes it easy for donors in Canada (excluding Quebec) to manage their donor account and keep track of their donations on the go.