Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to give blood?
Most people donate whole blood, and the entire donation process usually takes about 1 hour. The actual blood collection takes less than 15 minutes.

Is it safe to give blood?
Yes. All materials are sterile and used only once. You cannot get HIV or other infectious diseases from giving blood.

Does donating blood hurt?
You may feel a slight sting in the beginning (lasting a few seconds), but there should be no discomfort during the donation.

How much blood is taken?
Most blood donations are about 1 pint, which is roughly equal to 1 pound. The average adult has 10-12 pints of blood in their body.

Are there age limits for blood donors?
There is no maximum age limit for blood donors. You must be at least 17 years old to give blood (16 with parental permission in Wisconsin). Click here to download a 16-year-old Parental Permission Slip.

How long will it be until my blood is used?
Blood donations are usually processed and available for transfusion within 24-48 hours after donation.

I'm on medication. Can I still donate blood?
Most medications are acceptable. Call CBC at (800) 280-4102 if you have questions about medications affecting your eligibility to give blood.

Still have questions?
AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) is a leading voice in advocating government and public health policies to support high quality care for blood and stem cell donors and patients requiring transfusions or cellular therapies.

The AABB website has an extensive FAQ section on blood donation. If you still have unanswered questions, click here to go to their website or call CBC at (800) 280-4102.