1. Who can donate blood?
In Missouri, people who are at least 17 years of age (or 16
years of age with signed American Red Cross parental or legal guardian
consent form), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good general
health on the day of donation, are usually eligible to donate blood.
2. How often can you give blood?
Federal regulations require that donors wait at least 56 days
(eight weeks) between whole blood donations.
3. Should I eat before going?
You should eat a well-balanced meal at least two hours before
donating. This will help you avoid feeling light-headed or nauseous.
You should also eat and drink normally after giving; your body can
use the extra boost.
4. What about my iron?
Your hemoglobin, an iron-containing
protein, will be checked each time you donate blood. This
is done to protect both you and the patient who receives your
be discouraged if you are temporarily deferred due to low
hemoglobin. Increase your iron intake, and you can try donating
again in about
5. Why should people give blood?
Blood is always needed, every day. In fact, every two seconds
in the U.S., a blood transfusion is needed. Patients
in our communities rely on voluntary blood donors to help maintain
a safe and adequate
supply.Blood is perishable and must constantly be
replaced. Red blood cells last 42 days and platelets
only five. Demand continues to outpace the supply, which is why
the Red Cross
encourages eligible donors to give at least twice a year.
6. How is blood used?
Blood can help people who have been in automobile accidents,
cancer patients, heart-disease patients, transplant candidates,
and children with sickle-cell disease, to name a few. Just one blood
donation can help save the life of up to three people.
7. What should I do after donating
Avoid strenuous exercise for the rest of the day. For at
least five hours, avoid heavy lifting with the arm from which
donated. Double your normal fluid intake for the
next 48 hours. Try to eat good, basic meals for the next two weeks.
8. What about my blood type?
You can find out your blood type by giving blood. In six
to eight weeks after your first donation, you'll receive a Red Cross
donor card with your blood type. Bring the card with you each time
Not all blood has the same characteristics; blood groups are inherited.
The ABO and Rh blood groups are inherited. The ABO and Rh blood
groups are the most important because they determine the compatibility
of donated blood with its recipient.
The chart below indicates the percentages of the ABO and Rh factors
in our donor population:
9. How safe is the community
The Red Cross is committed to providing the safest possible
blood supply to the community. Up to 12 tests are performed on
unit of blood.
10. What is
Most patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant, surgery,
chemotherapy, radiation treatment or organ transplant need donated
platelets in order to survive. A platelet recipient could be a family
member, friend, neighbor, acquaintance or stranger. Your donation
can help save a life! By using a special method called apheresis
(ay-fer-ee'-sis), whole blood is separated into components, and
the platelets are removed. Specially trained Red Cross staff members
conduct the procedure while you relax, watch TV or read. The entire
process takes about two hours. Your body is able to replenish its
supply of platelets quickly. Generally, a person may donate platelets
as frequently as 24 times a year. Restrictions vary, however, from
donor to donor.
11. How do I sign up to give
If you are a member of an organization on campus and would like
to donate platelets, please schedule a pre-count sample appointment
at the Columbia Blood Center. Schedule buy calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE,
After the pre-count appointment, an appointment can then be made
to donate during the drive at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse.