Blood donors have to present identification, and fill out some paperwork about medical history and medications. Information is kept confidential. A short medical check will also be conducted.
The blood draw itself takes about 8 to 10 minutes, during which time about a pint of blood is collected. Donors usually sit down or recline. The site is then bandaged, and donors are usually offered a snack or beverage.
In addition to swag such as ice cream and coffee, blood donors often get buttons or stickers with slogans such as “Be nice to me. I gave blood today.”
We would suggest another slogan: “I saved someone’s life today.”
If it weren’t for giving blood, it’s not a button many of us would be able to wear. But thanks to the Red Cross, most of us have the chance to make that boast with pride.
To find a blood drive near you, go to redcrossblood.org, or call (800) GIVE LIFE.