Donating blood is an easy and safe way to save a life. Every day, UC Irvine Medical Center patients require blood or platelets to help fight cancer, to replace what is lost in a trauma or to treat a chronic disease.
Patients of the medical center rely on more than 20,000 blood products each year for their survival. Every one of these products comes from caring people like you - family, friends and others who want to make a difference.
Since there is no substitute for blood, your donation is a critical lifeline to the men, women and children in our care.
To make an appointment, call 949-824-2662.
Who can donate?
To donate blood, you must:
- Be age 17 or older and weigh more than 110 pounds
- Have a valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, employee or student ID are acceptable)
- Be in good health
- Eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating
- Finish all antibiotics 72 hours before your donation and be symptom-free of any infection or illness
- Have had no tattoos in the past 12 months
- Have had no piercings within the last 12 months. Ear piercings done with a gun are okay.
- Not have traveled to an area where malaria is endemic in the past 12 months
The donation process
Your entire blood donation appointment will take approximately 45 minutes. Before your donation, we advise you to eat a well-balanced meal and drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids such as water or juice.
Step 1: Registration
You will be asked to provide some basic information (including name, address and age). In addition, you will answer approximately 50 questions related to your medical history and lifestyle. A photo ID is required to donate. Acceptable forms of ID include your student ID, driver's license or passport.
Step 2: Medical history and mini-physical
One of our qualified staff will review your medical history with you. Your finger will be pricked in order to test a drop of blood to ensure your hemoglobin is high enough for you to donate. We will also check your pulse, blood pressure and temperature.
Step 3: Blood donation
A nurse or phlebotomist will cleanse and sterilize your arm before inserting a needle. The needle is sterile, used only once, then disposed. After five to 10 minutes, your donation should be complete. You will donate approximately one pint of blood, plus several tubes for testing.
Step 4: Rest and refreshments
When your donation is complete, relax and enjoy water, fruit juices, cookies and assorted snacks. In the next 24 hours, your donation will be tested, typed and separated into various components to be safely transferred into a patient. You can donate blood every 56 days, or six times a year. After your donation, we recommend that you continue to drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise for at least 12 hours.
Frequently asked questions about the donation process ›
Where to donate
In addition to our BloodMobile—which travels throughout Orange County—we have two locations for blood and platelet donations that directly support patients hospitalized at UC Irvine Medical Center.
For general information on donating blood or platelets, please call us at 949-824-2662.