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.
If you donate blood, platelets, or plasma during the month of May, please post about it in our latest Blood Drive thread.
Each time you donate from June to the next April, visit the MacRumors 2020-2021 Team Page, click PLEDGE TO GIVE BLOOD, and fill in your information. It's that easy!
Enter your MacRumors user name as your First Name and @ macrumors as your Last Name. In the Comments field, tell us what type of donation and how many units, e.g., 1 unit of whole blood, 2 units of platelets, etc. We'll include you in next May's MacRumors Blood Drive Honor Roll.
Why blood and platelet 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 few 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, or friend.
38% of Americans are eligible to donate blood, but fewer than 4% actually do. Similar problems affect the U.K. and other countries. Blood donations are critical in every cultural community. More 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) and Sample requirements and the high school donation experience
- 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.
Your temperature and blood pressure are checked. A tiny drop of blood is taken from your fingertip, which allows the nurses to check your hemoglobin or hematocrit level to ensure that giving blood won't make you anemic. If your level is within tolerance, you will be able to donate blood. You will probably donate about 1 pint or 470ml of blood. This amount of blood is quickly replaced by your body. Some people can give double red cell donations.
Once you have given blood, you should have a short rest and will be given some refreshments such as a drink and cookies or biscuits. Giving blood shouldn't take more than an hour.
Most of the time there's no bruising at all, and if you get a bandage or plaster you can take it off in a few hours. If your arm does bruise around the needle entry point, this is perfectly normal and will subside.
Where to donate in your country
Eligibility and procedures vary by country. The need is universal.
To find a donation center for your country, refer to the list at Be The 1 or use the links below.
- Albania: Albanian Red Cross
- Algeria: Agence Nationale du Sang
- Australia: Australian Red Cross
- Austria: Austrian Red Cross
- Belgium: Belgian Red Cross
- Canada: Canadian Blood Services: English, French, Héma-Québec, Who Can Donate?, Eligibility Quiz
- Columbia: Cruz Roja Colombiana
- Croatia: Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine
- Czech Republic: Czech Red Cross
- Denmark: Bloddonorerne
- England (and North Wales): National Health Service, England and North Wales, Find a donation centre, See if you qualify
- Estonia: DoonoriFoorum and North Estonia Medical Centre, Tallinn, Tartu University Hospital
- Finland: Finnish Red Cross Blood Service: Finnish, English
- France: French Blood Service
- Germany: German Red Cross Blood Donor Service: German, English
- Hong Kong: Hong Kong Red Cross
- Hungary: Hungarian National Blood Transfusion Service, Hungarian Red Cross
- Iceland: Blóðbankinn
- India: Indian Blood Bank
- Ireland: Irish Blood Transfusion Service
- Israel: Magen David Adom
- Italy: Associazione Volontari Italiani Sangue, Nord Italia Transplant
- Japan: Japanese Red Cross Society: Japanese, English
- Korea: Korean Red Cross
- Latvia: National Blood Service of Latvia
- Lithuania: National Blood Center of Lithuania
- Luxembourg: Luxembourg Red Cross
- Malaysia: Pusat Darah Negara
- Malta: Ministry for Energy and Health
- Mexico: National Blood Transfusion Center
- Monaco: Don du sang
- Nepal: Nepal Blood
- The Netherlands: Sanquin: Dutch, English
- New Zealand: New Zealand Blood Service
- Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service
- Norway: GiBlod ("Give Blood")
- Pakistan: Pakistan Red Crescent Society
- Philippines: Philippine Red Cross National Blood Service
- Poland: Polski Czerwony Krzyż ("Polish Red Cross")
- Portugal: Instituto Porguguês do Sangue
- Scotland: National Services Scotland, Are you eligible to give blood?
- Singapore: Health Sciences Authority
- Slovenia: Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia
- South Africa: South African National Blood Service
- Spain: European Blood Alliance
- Sweden: Beblod.nu
- Switzerland: Ma Vie Ton Sang: French, German
- Thailand: Thai Red Cross Society
- 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 let us know.
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)
Convalescent plasma donations
During the coronavirus pandemic, trials are underway to find out if patients with the most serious COVID-19 cases can be helped by transfusions of plasma from people who have fully recovered from COVID-19. The theory is that recovered patients have created antibodies to the disease in their plasma, and that these antibodies will attack the virus in a transfused patient.
To participate, you must meet additional eligibility requirements and you must donate at a center that is collecting convalescent plasma to participate in the trials.
- Canada: COVID-19 Convalescent plasma
- E.U.: European Blood Alliance Convalescent Plasma (CCP)
- U.K.: National Health Service: Donating plasma for coronavirus trials
- Red Cross: Plasma Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients and FAQ
- DonatingPlasma.org: Find a donation center
- AABB: Blood and Convalescent Plasma Donation Site Locator
Standard 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 have been controversial because of deferrals on blood donations by sexually active gay men, reduced in December 2015 from a lifetime deferral. See MSM blood donor controversy for the status by country and more about the controversy. Temporary reductions were made to some deferral time periods during the coronavirus pandemic.
MacRumors encourages people to donate blood, platelets, or plasma if they are eligible, and if not to help publicize the need for donations and encourage and support those who are eligible. MacRumors does not take positions on political or social issues but does encourage people to let authorities know what they think.