Every day more than 5,000 Australians give blood at an Australian Red Cross Blood Service donor centre. It's your chance to relax, be pampered, enjoy a free snack – and feel great knowing that you're saving lives.
Before you donate
- It's important that you look after your health on the day of your donation. In particular, make sure you drink lots of water and get plenty to eat.
- If you're going to donate soon, read about what to do before and after you donate.
- Arrive at the donor centre to a friendly welcome from our reception staff member. They'll greet you and quickly check your valid ID.
- Fill out the health questionnaire they give you. It's completely confidential and there to protect you and the person who receives your blood.
- A trained staff member will go over your questionnaire answers with you and ask some questions to check that you're fine to donate.
- They'll give you a 'finger prick' test to check your level of haemoglobin (a protein which contains iron) and test your blood pressure.
- Sit back and relax on a comfy couch while you donate. You can read, chat with our team members or just enjoy some uninterrupted TV time.
- We'll keep a close eye on you while you're donating to make sure you're OK. Talk to a staff member if you feel uncomfortable or worried. How we protect your health when you donate.
- To help you stay well and make your donation go quicker, try these exercises.
Relax and refresh
- After your donation's finished, rest on the couch for at least 5-10 minutes.
- When you're done with the couch, head to the refreshments area and relax for at least another 15 minutes with a complimentary cool drink and savoury snack. This is the best part!
- Have a drink on us – grab a free water or sports drink to take with you. Drink it over the next hour to stay hydrated.
How long does donating blood take?
- Whole blood donations take 5-15 minutes, and the whole appointment one hour.
- Plasma or platelets donations take 45 minutes, and the whole appointment takes one and a half hours.
After you donate
- Most people feel absolutely fine after donating blood. In fact, you're likely to feel pretty good about yourself.
- Even if you feel great, it's important that you look after yourself for the next 12 hours by following the steps for after you donate.