Donating Blood

Donating blood may be one of the most important things you’ve ever done. It is a safe and easy process which takes approximately 45 minutes. There is an eight-week (56 day) waiting period between donations. Generally, anyone age 16 or older, weighing at least 120 pounds and in good health, can donate blood. 16 year old donors require parental consent. Click here to download our consent form.

What do I have to do?

How will I feel?

What happens to your whole blood donations?

Are there any restrictions to donating blood?

What is the Apheresis Program?

Donor Consent Form for 16 year old donors

Common Questions and Concerns about Blood Donation

1. “I’m afraid.”
A lot of people are scared the first time, but after you make one donation, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated. There’s really nothing to it! As Haley, one of the first 16 year-olds to donate blood in Pennsylvania stated, “Do it, get it done, it doesn’t hurt!”

2. “How many people donate blood?”
Only 5% of the population donates blood. If only 10% of the population would donate, it would very possibly eliminate all blood shortages.

3. “Do you need my type of blood?”
We need regular donations of ALL blood types. The rarest blood is the type which is not available when it’s needed.

4. “Would you want my blood even though I’ve had an illness or am taking medication?”
If you have any doubts about your eligibility to donate, you can discuss them with someone from the Blood Bank staff. Most people who feel they can’t give blood because of a medical condition or medication are surprised to find out they CAN donate safely for local patients.

5. “Do I have enough blood to spare?”
If you are healthy and weigh at least 120 pounds, you have 10-12 pints in your body and can easily spare one pint. You should be able to donate regularly every eight weeks without any problem. The fluids in your body are completely replaced 24 hours after donation.

6. “I’m afraid of getting AIDS through blood donation.”
There is no way you can be exposed to the AIDS virus by donating blood. All needles and equipment are pre-packaged, sterile and disposable. The blood bank is under strict regulation and nothing is ever re-used on another donor.

7. “I have low iron blood, can I still donate?”
A sample of your blood is checked before every donation. If your iron is low, we’ll ask you to donate at a later date. Most of the time, low iron is only temporary. We will provide you with an “iron rich foods list” which will help to boost your iron to strong levels.

8. “I heard it hurts. What can I do to be best prepared to donate?”
Most donors say they barely felt anything and they describe blood donation as a slight pinch on the inside of your arm. Eating a good meal and hydrating yourself with caffeine-free drinks helps to make sure your donation experience is a positive one.

9. “Will I feel weak for the rest of the day?”
Your body will begin to replace the blood you donated immediately. After some cookies and juice, most people resume their regular activities after donating.

10. “I’m too busy to donate.”
We understand you are extremely busy. One out of five people who enter a hospital will need a blood transfusion.   Blood donation is the act of giving life. Although the whole process can take up to an hour of your time, it can provide an entire lifetime for a local patient.

We would be happy to talk to you about any questions you may have, just give us a call!!!

Call Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank at: