Regular blood and plasma donation can make a lasting impact far beyond what most people imagine. People around the world undergo 234 million major operations every year that may require blood transfusions7—all of which would be impossible without donors like you. Plasma donation helps create life-saving medications for hundreds of thousands of people. Giving to those in need of surgeries, medications and more, gets you major kudos.



are needed to treat one patient for hemophilia per year6



is how frequently some one needs blood1



are needed to treat one patient with a primary immune deficiency each year6


Plasma is used in emergency situations, like burns, traumas and surgeries. It’s also a vital part of ongoing treatments for many chronic illnesses6

You’re just the right type for blood donation

Blood transfusions help people who have been in accidents, need major surgeries or even during childbirth.

Because there are 8 different blood subtypes8

 O+, O-, A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-

– it’s important all kinds of people donate. That includes those with different blood types as well as different races and ethnicities.

In fact, African Americans are more likely to have the specific blood type needed to help treat Sickle Cell Disease9.


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Whole blood donation takes about 45 minutes to an hour from start to finish2. You’ll answer a questionnaire, have a quick health screening, and then sit down to make your donation.

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Before your appointment, drink plenty of water, at least two large glasses, and eat a healthy, low-fat meal with iron-rich foods, like spinach, beans or meat.

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When it’s time to donate, a technician will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a new, sterile needle for the blood draw. You’ll likely feel a quick pinch that’s over in a few seconds.


When you’re done, take it easy. No heavy lifting or working out for a few hours and drink plenty of fluids.

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Plasma donation can take about 1.5 –3 hours5. You’ll need to pass medical exams, screening, and testing before you become eligible to donate (check the requirements with your donation center before you go!).

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There are two ways plasma is retrieved. One is a lot like a whole blood donation. Then the plasma is separated out in the lab—this is called recovered plasma.

The other—called source plasma—also starts with a blood draw. But instead of the donation being sent out to a lab, the plasma is separated from the red blood cells while you wait, and the red blood cells are returned to the body (through a process called plasmapheresis). Either way, it all starts with a donor who wants to give back6.

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To prepare for plasma donation, get a good night’s rest, drink plenty of water 2-3 hours before and eat a healthy, low-fat meal prior to your appointment.

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When it’s time to donate, a technician will prepare your arm with antiseptic, insert a new, sterile needle and begin the donation process. Most people compare the feeling of the needle to a mild bee sting, but that sensation will only last a few seconds.

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After your donation, eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid tobacco for at least half an hour and stay away from strenuous activities for 24 hours. Take it easy, you’ve just done a good deed!