The Donation Process
Blood Donation Process
Many people wonder what to expect when they donate blood. This information is included to help you answer any questions you may have about donating or that arise when recruiting potential donors within your organization. The Regional Medical Center Blood Assurance Program is always available to answer any questions or address any concerns; just call 803-395-2419.
Why should I donate?
There is no substitute for human blood; it cannot be manufactured in a lab. Blood transfusions MUST come from other people.
Before you donate
It is important that you keep your blood sugar levels up before you donate in order to feel best during and after the donation process. Eating a good meal and drinking extra fluids are both strongly encouraged. Of course, the Blood Assurance Program will provide juice and cookies for you to enjoy after you donate.
When you donate
You will be asked to fill out a Donor History Form with questions concerning medical history.
A trained Blood Assurance team member will guide you through a “mini-physical” and record the following information:
- Blood Pressure
- Hemoglobin (finger stick to determine red cell level)
After asking you some confidential FDA-mandated questions, a team member will direct you to the phlebotomy area for your blood donation. The entire process takes about 30-45 minutes, from the time you register through the post-donation waiting period.
Can you donate?
Yes, if you:
- 18 years of age (16 and 17 year-olds may donate with a parental consent).
- Weight at least 110 pounds.
- Are taking high blood pressure medication, hormone replacement therapy, thyroid medication, anti-depressants, and high cholesterol medication.
- Have vital signs within our limits.
- Are a diabetic (oral medication only).
- Cured local skin cancer (simple basal cell or squamous cell), as well as Cervical cancer in situ is acceptable.
No, if you:
- Have a cold, flu, fever or sore throat.
- Are taking antibiotics.
- Have a tattoo or piercing in the last 12 months.
- Have visited a malarial risk area in the last 12 months (contact staff to find out areas)
- Have a history of seizures or heart disease.
- Are not feeling well.
Please do not assume that you cannot donate because of medications or travel restrictions. Check with us first and we’ll be glad to evaluate your individual situation confidentially.
How will I feel after I donate?
You should feel the same as you did before you did it! Reactions do sometimes occur, however. Our staff is highly trained to handle any such “light-headedness” you might feel. Most times, they disappear 10 to 15 minutes after having refreshments. This is why we keep you in the chair for 15 minutes after you donate, just in case you experience any difficulties. The chance of a reaction is about one-half of 1%. This is lessened if you have eaten a good meal beforehand and are feeling fit.