What will happen when I donate?

Donating for the first time? Don’t worry – it’s easy, safe and painless. The best evidence of this is that once they have donated once, most people continue to do so. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that you’ve helped to save someone’s life. Here’s what to expect when you come to donate blood, plasma or platelets.

Giving blood: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Registration

When you register for a blood drive in your local area or at one of our donor centers, a member of Red Cross staff will scan your identify card. You are now a registered donor with an assigned donor number.

Step 2: Medical questionnaire

You will then be given a medical questionnaire containing the personal details scanned in from your identity card. You will also be give a post-donation card with your identity-card photograph on it. Take the questionnaire and the card to the designated donor area and complete it fully. The questionnaire is designed to gauge your state of health and identify any medical procedures or potential risks..

Step 3: Medical examination

Take your completed questionnaire to the doctor. S/he will then take your blood pressure and pulse, and record your weight. Based on this medical examination, your answers to the questionnaire and any additional oral questions, the doctor will decide whether or not you can give blood. S/he will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Step 4: Collection

  1. Once the doctor has decided that you are eligible to give blood, you can take a seat on one of the donation beds. A member of Red Cross staff will first confirm your identity. You can have a glass of water to drink if you wish; this ensures the optimum fluid balance in your body ready for blood donation.
  2. The doctor or nurse will then place a tourniquet around your arm. S/he will then clean the collection site and will insert a sterile needle into your vein; this needle is connected up to other collection equipment. The first 25 ml of blood is syphoned off into a specimen bag attached to the blood bag. This blood is used to fill test tubes which will be sent off to the lab for testing. Once the specimen bag is full, blood collection will begin. It will take approximately nine minutes until the blood bag is full.
  3. Once collection is complete, the needle is removed. A compression bandage will be put on your arm to cover the small puncture wound. All our collection equipment is disposable and will only be used for you.

Step 5: Something to drink

And that’s it – blood donation complete! You will be given a drink to rebalance your fluid levels. Drink this slowly. We advise you to rest for around 15 minutes before going home. Avoid alcohol after giving blood. It is best to leave the compression bandage on your arm in place for several hours after giving blood. We also advise people to refrain from strenuous physical activity or sports for 12 hours after giving blood.

What happens to my donation?

Your donation will be processed safely and quickly. Once the necessary tests have been completed, it will be taken to hospitals or patients who need it.

Giving plasma: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Registration

When you register for plasma donation at one of our donor centers, a member of Red Cross staff will scan your identity card. You can only donate plasma if you have previously donated blood at least once. It is best to make an appointment for plasma donation.

Step 2: Medical questionnaire

You will then be given a medical questionnaire containing the personal details scanned in from your identity card. You will also be give a post-donation card with your identity-card photograph on it. Take the questionnaire and the card to the designated donor area and complete it fully. The questionnaire is designed to gauge your state of health and identify any medical procedures or potential risks.

Step 3: Medical examination

Take your completed questionnaire to the doctor. S/he will then take your blood pressure and pulse, and record your weight. Based on this medical check, your answers to the questionnaire and any additional oral questions, the doctor will decide whether or not you can give plasma. S/he will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Step 4: Collection

  1. Once the doctor has decided that you are eligible to give plasma, you can take a seat on one of the donation beds. A member of Red Cross staff will first confirm your identity. You can have a glass of water to drink if you wish; this ensures the optimum fluid balance in your body ready for blood donation.
  2. The doctor or nurse will then place a tourniquet around your arm. S/he will then clean the collection site and will insert a sterile needle into your vein; this needle is connected up to other collection equipment. The first 25 ml of blood is syphoned off into a specimen bag attached to the blood bag. This blood is used to fill test tubes which will be sent off to the lab for testing. Once the specimen bag is full, plasma collection will begin. Plasma is separated from the red blood cells via filtration. Your plasma is collected in a collection bag and your red blood cells and platelets filtered back into your body. Everything is done safely and in professional manner using sterile disposable equipment.
  3. Once collection is complete, the needle is removed. A compression bandage will be put on your arm to cover the small puncture wound. All our collection equipment is disposable and will only be used for you.

Step 5: Something to drink

And that’s it – plasma donation complete! You will be given a drink to rebalance your fluid levels. Drink this slowly. We advise you to rest for around 15 minutes before going home. Avoid alcohol after giving plasma. It is best to leave the compression bandage on your arm in place for several hours after giving plasma. We also advise people to refrain from strenuous physical activity or sports for 12 hours after giving plasma.

What happens to my donation?

Your donation will be processed safely and quickly. Once the necessary tests have been completed, it will be taken to hospitals or patients who need it.

Giving platelets: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Registration

When you attend your platelet-donation appointment at one of our donor centers, a member of Red Cross staff will scan your identity card. You can only donate platelets if you have previously donated blood at least once and if you have sufficient platelets in your blood.

Step 2: Medical questionnaire

You will then be given a medical questionnaire containing the personal details scanned in from your identity card. You will also be give a post-donation card with your identity-card photograph on it. Take the questionnaire and the card to the designated donor area and complete it fully. The questionnaire is designed to gauge your state of health and identify any medical procedures or potential risks.

Step 3: Medical examination

Take your completed questionnaire to the doctor. S/he will then take your blood pressure and pulse, and record your weight. Based on this medical check, your answers to the questionnaire and any additional oral questions, the doctor will decide whether or not you can give platelets. S/he will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Step 4: Collection

  1. Once the doctor has decided that you are eligible to give platelets, you can take a seat on one of the donation beds. A member of Red Cross staff will first confirm your identity. You can have a glass of water to drink if you wish; this ensures the optimum fluid balance in your body ready for blood donation.
  2. The doctor or nurse will then place a tourniquet around your arm. S/he will clean the collection site and will insert a sterile needle into your vein; this needle is connected up to other collection equipment. The first 25 ml of blood is syphoned off into a specimen bag attached to the blood bag. This blood is used to fill test tubes which will be sent off to the lab for testing. Once the specimen bag is full, platelet collection will begin. During collection, your blood will be channeled into a device in which a centrifuge will separate off the platelets into a small quantity of plasma. The red blood cells will be filtered back into your body.
  3. Once collection is complete, the needle is removed. A compression bandage will be put on your arm to cover the small puncture wound. All our collection equipment is disposable and will only be used for you.

Step 5: Something to drink

And that’s it – platelet donation complete! You will be given a drink to rebalance your fluid levels. Drink this slowly. We advise you to rest for around 15 minutes before going home. Avoid alcohol after giving platelets. It is best to leave the compression bandage on your arm in place for several hours after giving platelets. We also advise people to refrain from strenuous physical activity or sports for 12 hours after giving platelets.

What happens to my donation?

Your donation will be processed safely and quickly. Once the necessary tests have been completed, it will be taken to hospitals or patients who need it.