The blood donation process is simple. The entire process in most cases takes about an hour. Upon arrival at a Blood Bank of Alaska center or mobile drive you complete four easy steps prior to donation:
- Present your photo identification to a Blood Bank of Alaska staff member at time of registration
- Fill out the required Donor History Form at one of our kiosk or use a written form.
- Go over the form with one of our screening technicians and answer any follow up questions
- Take a mini-physical to include: temperature, hematocrit test and blood pressure
What is a Hematocrit?
The hematocrit (Ht or HCT) or packed cell volume (PCV) or erythrocyte volume fraction (EVF) is the volume percentage (%) of red blood cells in blood. It is normally about 45% for men and 40% for women. It is considered an integral part of a person’s blood count results, along hemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count and platelet count.
- Once you have passed your screening, you proceed to the donation area to make your donation.
- The actual whole blood donation takes on average 15 minutes.
- After your donation it is recommended that you give yourself 10 – 15 minutes to determine if you will experience any side effects. Some possible side effects are dizziness and feeling faint. Most donations are given with no side effects at all.
- Schedule your next appointment. Whole blood donations can be given every 56 days, platelets every 7 days and plasma every 4 weeks.