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 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.
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 hemoglobin levels and ensure that giving blood won't make you anemic.
If hemoglobin levels are within the tolerances, you will be able to donate blood. You will donate about 1 pint or 470ml of blood. This amount of blood is quickly replaced by your body.
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 after a few days.
Where to donate in your country
Eligibility and procedures vary by country. The need is universal.
- Algeria: Agence Nationale du Sang
- Australia: Red Cross
- Austria: Austrian Red Cross
- Belgium: Belgian Red Cross
- Canada: Canadian Blood Services: English, French, Héma-Québec
- Columbia: Cruz Roja Colombiana
- 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: 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
- 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
- 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, National Blood Transfusion Service
- Mexico: Biomedical Center, Puerto Vallarta
- Monaco: L’Amicale des Donneurs de Sang
- Nepal: Youth for 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 (blood donation poster)
- Philippines: Philippine Red Cross
- Poland: Polski Czerwony Krzyż ("Polish Red Cross")
- Portugal: Authority for Blood Services and Transplantation, Instituto Porguguês do Sangue
- Scotland: National Services Scotland, Donation flyer (PDF), Find a donation centre by postcode (right side of page)
- Singapore: Health Sciences Authority
- Slovenia: Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia
- South Africa: South African National Blood Service
- South Korea: Korean Red Cross
- Sweden: Swedish Blood Centers
- Switzerland: Ma Vie Ton Sang: French, German
- 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)
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. This policy is expected to change in 2015. See MSM blood donor controversy for the status by country and more about the controversy.
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 does not take positions on political or social issues but does encourage people to let authorities know what they think.