There are several ways to find out if you qualify to be a blood donor. Your local blood center may have a Web site explaining donor qualifications, as well as locations of donation facilities.
When you arrive at the blood center, the staff will assess your health to determine if you are eligible to donate by using the following procedures:
- You will be asked specific questions to determine whether you are in good health, and other specific questions to assess whether your donation would pose an undue risk to someone receiving your blood. You will be given educational materials to help you understand the questions. The donor screening process depends on whether you understand and honestly answer these questions.
- You will be given a brief health exam to determine your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and hemoglobin levels.
- If you are qualified, about one pint of your blood will be collected using a sterile needle. The blood is tested for certain infectious agents that can be transmitted by blood (for example, HIV and hepatitis viruses). If you test positive for any of these agents, you will be informed of the test results and may not be allowed to donate in the future. In addition, the blood center may place your name on a list of deferred donors to prevent future collections from you at that center.
More information about donating blood and an example of a donor questionnaire can be found at Donor History Questionnaire.
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