High School Donation Program

First time guide to giving blood

The need never stops. Many of us will require a blood tranfusion at some point in our lives. To meet the needs of patients in our community at least 800 people must register to donate blood each day.

We’re all connected by blood!

18 year olds who weigh at least 110 pounds may donate whole blood every 56 days.

First time 16 or 17 year old male donors who weigh at least 114 pounds and first time 16 or 17 year old female donors who weigh at least 125 pounds may donate with a Bloodworks Northwest permission slip signed by a parent or guardian at a mobile blood drive; this is to improve our young first time donors’ experience and minimize chances of vasovagal reaction.

16 or 17 year olds who weigh at least 114 pounds may donate with a Bloodworks Northwest permission slip signed by a parent or guardian at a BloodworksNW donor center.

Oregon: Minors donating in Oregon do NOT require permission, unless requested by the donor groups.

How much blood is taken?

Approximately one pint. As a general rule, adults have about 10-12 pints in their body.

How long does it take to replenish the blood I have donated?

Your body replaces plasma in about 24 hours, red cells are restored in two to four weeks, and platelets are replenished in about 72 hours. You should drink extra fluids, like water or juice. Do not do any heavy lifting with your arm for 12 hours. You may give once every 56 days in order to allow plenty of time to replenish your red cells.

Donating blood only takes one hour and can help save three people.

How will I feel after donating?

Most people feel no difference. Eat breakfast or lunch before donating and be sure to drink plenty of fluids, like water or juice. It will make a big difference. You’ll feel like a hero.

How soon after donating can I practice sports?

You should avoid strenuous activity such as lifting, pushing, or picking up heavy objects for 12 hours after giving blood. Drink plenty of fluids. Stick to a light or recovery workout depending on how you feel. It’s a good idea to wait three days before practicing vigorously or competing as you may become dehydrated.

Can I donate if I’m menstruating?

Yes, as long as you feel well on the day of donation.

Did you know you can safely donate blood every 56 days – or up to six times a year?

Schedule your appointment online! We’ll email or call to remind you the day before.

Giving blood is quick, easy and safe

Step 1: Read the information sheet before registration.

Step 2: Complete the confidential health history questionnaire.

Step 3: A professional collection staff member conducts a medical history interview and brief health check of your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and iron level.

Step 4: Relax! You’ll take a seat on a donor bed while a unit is collected by our specially trained staff. Only sterile and disposable equipment is used to collect your blood. The actual donation is only about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Drink plenty of fluids after your donation. Enjoy some cookies too! By now its been about an hour, or maybe less.

Quick Links

Organizing Your Blood Drive
Five steps to success. Download our PDF.

16/17 Year Old Permission Slip
Download the pdf. Read. Print. Sign!

What You Need to Know About Iron
Information and suggestions to make sure your diet is optimal for donating.

First Timer’s Guide To Giving Blood
It can be a little scary, but if it was that bad it wouldn’t be so popular.

Top Ten Excuses
We’ve heard them all!

Your gift of blood, time or money saves lives.