- About Us
- News & Events
- My SDBB
- Contact Us
For information about COVID-19 and blood donation, including exposure and symptom deferrals for all donors (including healthcare workers), visit sandiegobloodbank.org/covid19.
Blood donation is one of the most important things you can do for others. It allows you to help save the life of a premature infant or trauma victim, or vastly improve the health of someone fighting a chronic disease or cancer.
There is no substitute for human blood, which means local hospitals rely on the generosity of our community for the gift of life.
The impact of blood donation is full circle.
Donating empowers healthy people to share the gift of health, which in turn keeps neighbors and community members alive and thriving.
Your donation can help people who have experienced:
Research shows a connection between altruism, generosity and health. Though it might not be the kind of health measured by your fitness tracker, an emotional boost improves overall well-being and can add years to your life.
In addition, each time you donate, you get a mini health screening. Track your blood pressure, pulse, hematocrit, temperature and cholesterol in your online personalized health portal.
After you arrive at a San Diego Blood Bank donation center or mobile drive, there are typically four steps. The donation process usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.
1. Answer a questionnaire about travel history, lifestyle, medications and general health.
2. Receive a health screen (e.g., blood pressure, temperature, pulse, hematocrit) to ensure your
wellbeing and determine any barriers to donation.
3. Donate blood. The process itself takes about 10 minutes for whole blood, during which you can lay
back and relax. Many donors think of this as “me time” that saves lives.
4. Sit in the canteen for 15 minutes while you enjoy a well-deserved beverage and snack.
Next, your donation is taken to the lab and gets processed in a centrifuge to separate it into three different lifesaving components. Once testing is completed to ensure safety of the blood components, 24/7 dispatchers deliver it to the hospital, where it is used to help someone in need.
Healthy individuals can donate whole blood every 8 weeks. The time frame is shorter for platelet and
plasma donors, who can donate every two and four weeks, respectively.
Yes. You can’t contract disease from donating blood; sterile kits are used and then disposed of, and staff are highly trained and experienced. Your body restores its fluids in days and the cells in just weeks, so any minor effects you may feel (e.g., lightheadedness) are minimal.
Yes, but the tattoo must have been applied by a state-regulated facility with fresh ink and sterile needles.
States that do not regulate tattoo parlors:
• New York
You need to wait 12 months after getting a tattoo in any of the above states, so set a calendar reminder.
It is best to avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after donating blood.
Donating is easy, and it’s likely that you are eligible if you’re 17 or older and in good general health. If you have questions about eligibility, call (619) 400-8251 or stop in and ask one of our friendly team
Here are some things to remember:
Blood donation is not recommended during pregnancy. However, it is OK to donate six weeks after delivery and while you are breastfeeding. Eat a healthy meal prior to donating and arrive hydrated.
The donation process for double reds, plasma and platelets is longer than for whole blood, but it’s worth it. You’ll have time to chat with your favorite staff member, get some reading done or watch a show. You can soon go home and rest easy knowing you made a lasting impact in under two hours.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, get to know some of our dedicated donors.
AB blood types are the universal plasma donor, and their plasma is safe for all. A and B blood types make ideal platelet donors.
Many people report a boosted mood following blood donation, especially knowing that their generosity will make a lasting impact. In addition, you will want to eat a healthy meal and drink more fluids than usual (of the non-alcoholic variety). Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous or dangerous activities.
Remove the bandage after about 4 hours and go about your day as normal.
If you feel lightheaded, lay down for a moment and drink more fluids.
Visit one of our donor centers or a mobile blood drive in the community.
Visit sandiegobloodbank.org/donate and pick a convenient time and location. Even if you don’t have access to a car or your schedule is busy, saving a life is fast and accessible.
There are many ways to be a hero with San Diego Blood Bank: