Donor eligibility requirements
General and physical
To donate, you must:
- Be at least 17 years old (there is no maximum age limit)
- Have a form of picture identification such as a driver's license or an employee badge
- Eat a good meal and drink plenty of water prior to donation
You should also be in general good health and feel well the day of your donation. Your vitals must meet the following guidelines at the time of your donation:
- Blood Pressure—systolic blood pressure must be less than 180 and greater than 90; diastolic blood pressure must be less than 100 and greater than 50
- Temperature—less than 99.5
- Hematocrit—at least 38% for women and at least 39% for men
- Pulse—50 to 100 bpm
- Weight—between 110 to 350 pounds
During the private medical history interview, we will ask you several personal questions related to your health. Your accurate answers are vital to keeping patients safe from transfusion-transmitted diseases.
Some diseases, like vCJD (human version of mad cow disease) and malaria, can be associated with travel or residency is certain areas. During your interview, we will ask you about international travel, including cruises, within the last three years and all military-related travel.
Please have the following information ready when you call or come by to donate:
- The name of the country to which you traveled
- The name of the cities and various local attractions you toured
- Your travel dates, including when you departed and returned
Donating blood is simple and safe. On average, the total donation process takes about 30-45 minutes. During each donation, one pint of blood is collected.
- Registration - We'll gather some basic information—such as your mailing address, phone number and date of birth—for our records. You'll need a picture I.D., such as a driver's license, military ID, state ID or employee badge, for this step of the process.
- Mini Physical - We'll check your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hematocrit to make certain you are feeling your best before you donate
- Interview - We'll ask you some medical history and travel questions to make sure the donation process will be safe for you as well as our patients.
- Donation - The shortest stretch of the process, the actual donation only takes an average of 5-10 minutes.
- Snacks! - Enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages in our canteen area.
How often can I donate?
Blood can be donated every eight weeks per Food and Drug Administration regulations to allow the body enough time to regenerate red cells.
It is important to note that there is some risk of iron deficiency associated with regular blood donation. For this reason, the Baylor Scott & White Blood Center encourages our donors to replace the iron that is lost during donation – this can be achieved through a healthy diet of iron rich foods, or through iron supplementation (we recommend consulting your healthcare provider before starting an iron supplementation regimen). Healthy donors are the only source for a robust community blood supply!
Platelet, plasma and dual red cell donations
Platelet, plasma and dual red cell donations are collected through a single needle using an apheresis machine, which centrifuges — or spins — the blood to separate the blood components. The machine then collects the platelets, plasma or red cells and returns all other blood components back to the donor in cycles.
Our friendly technicians will provide you with a personal television and a comfortable chair to relax in while you donate. Donation length varies by donation type and individual donor.
For more information about platelet, plasma and dual red cell donations or to schedule an appointment, call 254.724.2933.
Where do I donate?
Call 1.877.724.HERO (4376) to request an appointment.
Is blood donation safe?
Blood donation is a safe, FDA regulated activity. A person cannot contract HIV/AIDS from donating blood. Sterile, disposable needles and supplies are used only once and safely discarded after each donation. The safety of our donors and patients is our top priority at the Baylor Scott & White Blood Center.