What quantity of blood, plasma or platelets can I donate?

The doctor will use the information recorded during his/her preliminary medical examination to determine the amount of blood, plasma or platelets you can donate. If you are healthy, you can function perfectly normally with a lower level of blood, plasma or platelets; your body is constantly producing more.

  • Blood: you can donate 450-470 ml of blood (depending on your height, weight and gender: men’s bodies generally contain more blood than women’s).
  • Plasma: up to 650 ml
  • Platelets: up to 500 ml

How long does it take?

It’s best to allow an hour in total for your donation. The actual collection of blood takes no more than 12 minutes. Before you donate, though, you will be required to complete a questionnaire and undergo a medical examination by the duty doctor. After donation, you will be offered a drink to replenish the fluid your body has lost.

Plasma donation takes 30-45 minutes, and donating platelets takes 60-90 minutes.

Will it hurt?

No, giving blood isn’t painful – nor is giving plasma or platelets. All you will feel is a needle prick, then collection will begin. Plasma and platelets are collected in a plasma or platelet bag, while the other blood components are filtered by into your body. This, too, is painless as is removal of the needle once collection is complete.

Sometimes, despite the expertise or our collection staff, they may not be able to locate a suitable vein first time. If this happens, you may have a bruise and experience some pain in your arm.

In a small number of very exceptional cases, things can go wrong. For example, complications may arise due to accidentally hitting a nerve or an artery, or a donor may suffer serious injury due to falling when unconscious. However, there is no need to worry since our doctors are on hand to deal with any medical problems which may arise, and as a donor you are always insured against the cost of any additional medical treatment required.

Can I change my mind?

Yes, you can change your mind about donating at any time. Even when you are lying on the bed immediately prior to donation, you’re still free to change your mind. You can also decide at any point that you no longer wish to be a donor; giving blood, plasma or platelets once does not commit you to continuing to do so in the future.


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