Your presence here is voluntary. You may leave at any time. If you do decide to leave, please inform one of our team members.
Drinking fluids before, during and after your donation as well as eating something salty, will help maintain your blood volume and improve your donation experience.
Let us know if you are feeling dizzy or unwell at any time.
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.
Iron deficiency may occur over time from the loss of blood taken for testing. Red blood cells are rich in hemoglobin which contains iron. A diet rich in iron is advised for all donors. If you donate frequently, ask your health care provider about taking iron supplements and the need to check your iron stores (ferritin).
Before you donate
Have something to eat in the hours before you donate. Avoid fatty foods such as bacon or fried food.
Drink at least 500 ml of water or juice just before your donation.
You will complete a questionnaire.
We will confirm your identity.
We may check your:
Height and weight
While you donate
The needle used during your donation is sterile, used only once and then discarded.
During the collection procedure, anticoagulant is added to your donation to prevent clotting.
Red blood cells, along with some anticoagulant are returned to you while the plasma and/or platelets are being collected.
Although very rare, the following can occur when your red blood cells are returned:
The rupture of some red blood cells (hemolysis).
An allergic reaction (itching).
An air bubble that blocks flow in a blood vessel (the tubing is continuously monitored for air bubbles).
Please alert a team member if you experience unusual symptoms such as tingling around the mouth, chills, heaviness in the chest, difficulty breathing, chest pain, back pain or general discomfort. Some of these symptoms can be alleviated by slowing down the procedure.
Occasionally, the red blood cells cannot be returned to a donor. If so a temporary deferral from donating may be required for your safety, depending on the volume of red blood cell loss.
After you donate
We will place a bandage on your arm
You may be asked to put pressure on the needle site.
Rest for a few minutes before getting up.
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.
If you feel faint and you are driving, pull over. Resume driving only when you have fully recovered or call for help.
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 donating.
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 anti-inflammatory 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 anti- inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin.
Consult a health care provider if any of these symptoms persist or are concerning to you.
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 virus 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 using to treat patients
We test your blood group (ABO and Rh) as required.
Hemoglobin by finger stick will be done with every donation.
Protein levels may be done for some plasma donations.
Platelet counts will be done with every platelet donation.
Your blood may 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 A virus
Other tests may be done on some donations as required. These include testing for other blood groups and ferritin (iron stores).
You will be informed of unusual results from any of the tests that we perform.
*If your test result is abnormal:
You will be notified.
Your donation 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.
This information is intended for people giving large volume plasma donations (more than 500 ml) who will receive fluid replacement:
The volume of plasma collected will depend on your sex, weight and height and donation history.
For large volume plasma donations, IV (intravenous) fluids are given immediately after your donation to replace the lost plasma volume. This helps minimize the chance of feeling faint, dizzy and/or nauseated after your donation.
The replacement solution we use is called saline which is a mixture of sodium chloride (salt) and water.
Did you know?
You may be able to create your own personal online account at blood.ca or on the GiveBlood app to manage your preferences and much more.