How to Become a Blood Donor
Once approved as a donor, you may donate every 56 days, up to six (6) times/year. To be eligible to donate, you must:
- Be at least 17 years old
- Be in good health
- Weigh a minimum of 110 pounds
- Have no tattoos or body piercings within the past 12 months
- Not be pregnant or nursing
- Had no major dental work within the past 3 days
- Have not traveled to an area with known malaria risk in the past year
- Have not spent up to 3 or more months in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996; or spent up to 5 or more years in Europe from 1980 to the present
When preparing to give blood, eat regular meals and do not donate blood on an empty stomach. Bring a valid photo ID, a list of any current medications and reading glasses if you wear them.
There are four (4) basic steps in the donation process which takes between 30 and 45 minutes.
Step 1: Registration. You will receive information about donating blood and a registration form
Step 2: Medical History. You’ll be asked provide a private consultation with the health screener about your health history followed by a brief physical which will include will include blood pressure, temperature and blood count measurement.
Step 3: Donation You will be asked to sit in a reclining chair during the process; your arm will be sterilized with a swab and a sterile needle inserted into a vein. You should only feel a small pinch when inserted and the entire process takes approximately 10 minutes for one pint.
Step 4: Refreshments. Before resuming normal activities, you will be invited to sit and enjoy a refreshing beverage.
For your safety, you are advised not to engage in strenuous activities for the first 24 hours after donating.
Donating blood is completely safe: individual needles and other equipment are used only once and then disposed of immediately. Due to the sterile environment, it is not possible to acquire any disease from donating blood.
To learn more about our blood donor program or if you’ve already decided to help, please contact us at 617-499-5735 for an appointment, or stop by the Mount Auburn Blood Donation Center, located on the ground floor of the Wyman Building here on our main campus.
Blood Donor Program
Clark Building, Room 123
Mount Auburn Hospital
330 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Host Your Own Blood Drive
Learn more about how to host your own local blood drive. You’ll need to supply a number of donors as well as a location, but Mount Auburn will help with the rest, including trained staff, medical supplies, and refreshments, as well as local advertising/promotional support.
If you prefer and in hospital setting, you can also organize small groups that wish to visit our Blood Center to make donations together. For more information, please call our Blood Donor Coordinator at 617-499-5735.