This page walks you through the steps of donating blood. We think it’s pretty straightforward, but if you’re new, it’s important to understand how it works before you begin. You may also find it helpful to talk to someone you know who has donated before.
The entire blood donation process takes just over an hour. For a quick overview of the new process that is in clinic now, watch our video.
Before you donate
- Looking after your health is always important; on the day of your donation there are a few extra things to do.
- Make sure you drink lots of water; eat a healthy meal and get a good night’s sleep.
- Having a salty snack and 500 mL of water before you donate is a good idea.
- Make sure to bring valid ID
- Donated before? Please bring your blood donor card (it has a full name and signature).
- First-time donating or can’t find your card? Bring ID with full name and signature or full name and photograph. We’ll then order you a blood donor card for next time.
- And you might want to do a quick eligibility check before coming in. Try our quiz!
You will start to see the new check-in kiosk when you come in to donate. Click here to learn more about it.
You’ll complete the Donor Questionnaire on a touchscreen, answering the donation questions on a tablet! It's completely confidential and there to protect you and the person who receives your blood.
You’ll be able to skip this step if you have a blood donor ID number, an appointment booked and your email address on file – then we can send the online questionnaire in advance.
A trained staff member will go over your questionnaire answers with you and ask some additional questions to confirm you are good to donate.
They'll give you a 'finger prick' test to check your level of hemoglobin (a protein which contains iron) and test your blood pressure.
Sit back and relax in a comfy chair while you donate. You can read, chat with our team members, other donors or just relax knowing you are Giving Life.
And don’t worry, we always use a new, sterile needle for every donation and safely dispose of used needles.
We'll keep a close eye on you while you're donating to make sure you're OK. Talk to a staff member if you feel uncomfortable or worried.
Wondering what happens after your donation? Check this out: What Happens to Your Donation.
Relax and Refresh
After your donation is finished, rest on the chair for at least 5 minutes just to make sure you’re ok.
When your donation is finished, head to the refreshments area and relax for at least 15 minutes with a complimentary cool drink and a snack. This is the best part!
This is the perfect time to book your next appointment on the GiveBlood app or blood.ca.
How long does donating blood take?
The actual blood donations take 5-15 minutes, and the whole appointment takes about an hour.
After you donate
Most people feel absolutely fine after donating blood. In fact, you're likely to feel pretty good about yourself.
Even if you feel great, it's important that you look after yourself for the rest of the day and drink plenty of fluids. You’ll also want to avoid strenuous activity for 6 to 8 hours.
Finally, be sure to tell a friend about how you used your power to Give Life.