Blood and Platelet Donation
From Mac Guides
MacRumors encourages blood and platelet donation for a simple reason: it saves lives. This page summarizes information for potential donors. For discussion of all aspects of blood and platelet donations (procedures, the need for donations, eligibility requirements, national differences, news, and controversies) see the MacRumors forums.
Not everyone is eligible to donate. If you are not eligible yourself we ask that you help us spread the word and get other people to donate. There's no gift you can give that's more valuable and more appreciated than the gift of life to someone in need.
Why donations are so important
About 1 in 3 people will need blood or platelets sometime during their lives. Over 80% of people will need a transfusion by age 75. Someone somewhere needs blood every 3 seconds. It could even turn out to be you!
Blood and platelets can't be manufactured. They come only from people. Donated blood and platelets save the lives of patients who are injured, undergoing surgery, or have diseases that cause low blood counts. Their lives depend on the generosity of other people. By donating you can save someone's child, sibling, spouse, parent, grandparent, friend, or other family member.
One hour of your time can save up to 3 lives!
In the U.S., 38% of Americans are eligible to donate blood but only 3% actually do. Similar problems affect the U.K. and other countries. Lives would be saved if more people donated and fewer people found excuses not to.
- Facts about blood
- Blood Donation FAQs
- Donation FAQs
- First-time donors and fear of needles
- Real People Saving Lives (video)
- Planning a High School Blood Drive (video)
- Rowan Atkinson blood donation promo (video)
Donation procedures vary by donation center and by national laws and customs, but here's a typical overview:
When you arrive, you'll be asked to read a number of leaflets and fill in a donor health questionnaire. The results of this could lead to a confidential discussion with a nurse.
A tiny drop of blood is then taken from your fingertip. This allows the nurses to check your haemoglobin levels and ensure that giving blood won't make you anaemic.
If haemoglobin levels are within the tolerances, you will be able to donate blood. You will donate about 470ml of blood (in the UK) - this amount of blood is quickly replaced by your body.
Once you have given blood, you should have a short rest before being given some refreshments usually a drink and biscuits. All in all giving blood shouldn't take more than an hour.
After the donation your arm may bruise around the needle entry point. This is perfectly normal, and will subside after a few days.
Where to donate in your country
Eligibility and procedures vary by country. The need is universal.
- Australia: Red Cross
- Canada: Canadian Blood Services: English, French, Héma-Québec
- Columbia: Cruz Roja Colombiana
- England (and North Wales): National Health Service, England and North Wales, Find donation centre by postcode, See if you qualify
- Finland: Finnish Red Cross Blood Service: Finnish, English
- Germany: German Red Cross Blood Donor Service: German, English
- India: Indian Blood Bank
- Ireland Irish Blood Transfusion Service
- Japan: Japanese Red Cross Society: Japanese, English
- Mexico: Fundación Donavida ("Donate Life Foundation")
- The Netherlands: Sanquin: Dutch, English
- New Zealand: New Zealand Blood Service
- Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service
- Norway: GiBlod ("Give Blood")
- Poland: Polski Czerwony Krzyż ("Polish Red Cross")
- Scotland: National Services Scotland, Donation flyer (PDF), Find a donation centre by postcode (right side of page)
- Sweden: Swedish Blood Centers
- United Kingdom: See individual entries for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- United States: Red Cross, America's Blood Centers, Find a donation center by zip code, See if you qualify
- Wales: Welsh Blood Service
If you know links to the appropriate organizations in other countries, please update this page.
Your body replaces platelets quickly so you can donate more often and save more lives. Leukemia patients are especially in need of platelets.
- American Red Cross: Platelet Donation
- U.K. National Health Service: Why do we need platelets?
- Canadian Blood Services: Donating platelets (video)
- Donating Plasma.org: Donor FAQs
- Donating Plasma.org: Find a donation center (Austria, Canada, Germany, U.S.)
Donor eligibility is based on age, weight, health, medications, medical conditions, and factors that affect blood safety. The details vary by country. In the U.S. the American Red Cross and America's Blood Centers follows guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These guidelines, which should reflect scientific and statistical evidence, have been controversial because of a lifetime ban on blood donation by some gay men. See MSM blood donor controversy for the status by country and more about the controversy. MacRumors does not take positions on political or social issues but does encourage people to let authorities know what they think.
MacRumors encourages people to donate blood or platelets if they are eligible, and if not to help publicize the need for donations and encourage and support those who are eligible.
- MacRumors 2010 Blood Drive: Announcement, Blood Drive and Honor Roll
- MacRumors 2011 Blood Drive: Announcement, Blood Drive and Honor Roll
- MacRumors 2012 Blood Drive: Announcement, Blood Drive and Honor Roll
- MacRumors 2013 Blood Drive: Announcement, Blood Drive and Honor Roll
- Discussion of blood donation: Give Blood!
- Discussion of eligibility and the gay donor controversy: Blood donor eligibility