What happens during blood donation

Blood donation is a simple and safe process that usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes. Here's how it works:

  • Registration

    When you arrive at the blood donation center or blood drive, If you have an appointment, inform the staff at the reception area

    You will be asked to fill out a registration form.

    • This form will ask for your personal information, such as your name, address, and contact details.
    • The form will also ask you questions about your health to assess if you can donate blood.
  • Relax

    Take a seat in the waiting area and complete the donor questionnaire. If you have any questions regarding the questions, you can leave them unanswered and ask the nurse during your interview.

  • Rehydrate

    Drink two glasses/one bottle of water while waiting in the waiting area for your turn to see the nurse.

  • Pre-donation

    A nurse will perform a brief medical screening. This will involve checking your blood pressure, pulse and weight. Your temperature might be checked as well.

    • The staff will check your questionnaire and ask you some questions about your health and medical history.
    • If you are on any medications or have any allergies, inform the nurse.
  • Donation

    Once you have been cleared to donate, you will be taken to the donation room.

    • A nurse will explain the process for you.
    • The nurse will give you a local freezing (anesthetic) and insert a sterile needle into a vein in your arm.
    • The needle is connected to a sterile plastic bag, which will collect your blood. You may feel a slight pinch or sting when the needle is inserted, but this should only last a few seconds.
    • While you donate blood, you will be asked to relax and keep your arm still. The donation process usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on how much blood is being collected.
  • Post-donation

    After you have finished donating blood, the nurse will remove the needle and place a bandage on your arm. You will be asked to rest for a 10-15 minutes after blood donation. You will be offered a snack and something to drink.


    • Bring a government-issued ID (a Civil ID, driver's license or passport) with you to your donation appointment.
    • If you are on any medications, bring them with you
    • Be honest about your medical history: Be sure to tell the blood center staff about any medical conditions or medications you are taking. Some medications can affect your eligibility to donate blood.
    • If you have any allergies, please inform the nurse!
    • For first time donors, blood donation can be a different experience. If you have any worries, speak to your nurse