donating blood

Giving Blood in Raleigh

In Do, February 2020 by Julia Reinert

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Due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to COVID-19 concerns, the country is currently facing a severe blood shortage. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that healthy people continue to donate blood for those that need it most. There are many opportunities to give blood locally, including through The Blood Connection and the American Red Cross. Read our guide before you schedule your next appointment.

Who Can I Contact?

Two organizations in Raleigh are available for those who want to donate blood. Both have excellent reputations and can ensure safe and successful experiences. 

The Blood Connection provides blood to our local healthcare facilities including WakeMed Health, UNC Rex and more. 
5925 Glenwood Avenue
1-800-392-6551
thebloodconnection.org

The American Red Cross has been committed to education, local efforts, disaster relief and international services for nearly 140 years. 
100 North Peartree Lane
1-800-RED-CROSS
redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/location/raleigh-american-red-cross.html


Helpful Tips Before You Donate

Get plenty of sleep the night before.

Eat healthy, iron-rich foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins in the days leading up to your donation.

Drink lots of liquids, especially water and fruit juices.


What If I Can’t Donate Blood?

There may be reasons why you cannot donate, including illness, medications, low iron, or travel outside of the United States, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference! Contact The Blood Connection or The American Red Cross about organizing a blood drive or volunteering at any of their Raleigh facilities.


What Can I Expect?

The blood donation process is relatively quick and easy. Here’s what to expect, step by step. 

  1. Find a blood drive or make an appointment at a blood donation center.
  2. Sign in and review your eligibility with your chosen organization’s employee or volunteer.
  3. Show ID, such as your driver’s license, and confirm your address.
  4. Receive information on donating blood and answer basic health questions in a private and confidential interview.
  5. Once registered, an employee/volunteer will check your vitals (temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin levels).
  6. When it’s your turn, a technician will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand new, sterile needle for the blood draw (it feels like a quick pinch and it’s over in seconds).
  7. The entire process lasts about 10 minutes and you’ll be sitting or lying down comfortably. 
  8. After the blood draw is complete (and approximately a pint of blood has been collected), you’ll get a bandage on your arm and snacks in a refreshment area.

General Requirements for Donating Blood

• Be at least 16 years old.

• Weigh at least 110 pounds.

• Be in good health generally and feel well on the day of donation.

• Provide a current photo ID on the day of donation.

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