If you’ve never donated blood before, it can be intimidating. Knowing what to expect can alleviate those fears. The first, and least intimidating, step is to eat a meal consisting of good proteins and have plenty of water the day before and prior to the actual donation.
When you arrive on the donation site, you will need to present a picture id OR two other forms of identification. Another vital piece of information you will need to have with you is a list of current medications. Vitamins and supplements should also be documented when making this list. Once you are signed in and have produced all the necessary documents, a staff member will take your vitals (temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level). You are ready to give blood!
The process of giving blood takes only about 8-10 minutes. A certified phlebotomist, such as a nurse, will tie a turniquet around your arm, above your elbow, and then will disinfect the site. They will then draw a pint of your blood. Once your blood is drawn, you will recieve a refreshment (cookies!) and should relax for 10-15 minutes.
Information found on http://www.redcrossblood.org