Demystifying Myths: FAQ’s
1. How does the blood donation process work?
Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but can make a big difference in the lives of others. The donation process from the time you arrive until the time you leave takes a few minutes. The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes on average. The steps in the process are:
- You will complete donor registration, which includes information such as your name, address, phone number, and donor identification number (if you have one).
- You will be asked to show a donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of ID.
Health History and Mini Physical
- You will answer some questions during a private and confidential interview about your health history.
- You will have your temperature, hemoglobin, blood pressure and pulse checked.
- We will cleanse an area on your arm and insert a brand–new, sterile needle for the blood draw. This feels like a quick pinch and is over in seconds.
- You will have some time to relax while the bag is filling. (For a whole blood donation, it is about 8-10 minutes. If you are donating platelets, red cells or plasma by apheresis the collection can take up to 2 hours.)
- When approximately a pint of blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm.
- You will spend a few minutes enjoying refreshments to allow your body time to adjust to the slight decrease in fluid volume.
- After 10-15 minutes you can then leave the donation site and continue with your normal daily activities.
- Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing that you have helped to save lives.
2. Who can donate blood?
In Zimbabwe, donors must be age 16 or older. Donors must weigh at least 50kgs and be in good health. Additional eligibility criteria apply.
3. How often can I donate blood?
Men can donate after every three months and women can donate after every four months. Whole blood donors can donate up to 6 times a year. Platelet apheresis donors may give every 7 days up to 24 times per year.
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