If you’ve never donated blood before, but are considering it, there are so many reasons you should. A blood donation can save someone’s life, and since it’s a simple procedure for you, it’s almost a no-brainer. There are some things you should know before you give blood for the first time so that you are fully prepared for it.

Preparing for Your Donation

The first step after you set up an appointment to donate blood is a health check. A representative from the donation center will ask you screening questions, either by phone or in person, regarding your overall health. They will also do a quick test to make sure you aren’t anemic before you give blood.

During Your Appointment

Once you have cleared the health screening, the donation center will provide you with a glass of water to ensure you’re hydrated before giving blood. A cannula will be placed into one of your arms and blood will be drawn- generally 450 to 500 milliliters of blood. After your blood is drawn, you will remain at the donation center for approximately half an hour to make sure you aren’t dizzy or experiencing other negative side effects.

What Your Blood is Used For

If you are making a general blood donation, it will be used for patients who are anemic (either due to illness or trauma) and for those with serious health conditions like cancer. Those who donate platelets or plasma will help those who are at higher risk of severe bleeding and clotting problems, like people undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

The Pandemic and Blood Donations

You may be wondering whether or not it’s safe to donate blood during the pandemic, and the answer is yes. Those working at the donation centers are taking all the proper precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While there are fewer elective surgeries taking place due to the pandemic, blood donations are still in need.

Who Should Give Blood

Any healthy adult between the ages of 17-70 should be eligible to donate blood. If you are wondering whether or not you’re eligible, simply call your local blood donation center and they can assist you.