Giving blood is simple and it saves lives. When you give blood, it is collected so it can be used to treat someone else.
For most people, giving blood is easy and follows the simple steps listed below. See our animation which takes you through what happens step by step.
This is what will happen when you attend your appointment, or go to a drop-in session, to give blood. If you attend an appointment to give blood we aim to ensure it takes no more than an hour.
Remember to bring your completed donor healthcheck form with you, if you received one from us in the post. We will ask you to read our welcome leaflet (pdf) which explains the importance of blood safety. It’s important to read this whenever you attend because advice does change. We will give you 500ml of fluid just before you give blood. Drinking this over about 5 minutes will help with your well-being during and after donation.
We make sure it is safe for you to donate, and that your blood donation is safe for a patient to receive.
If you are not able to donate we will explain why, and may ask you to make another appointment.
If you are able to donate you will be asked to sit in a waiting area until you are called to a donation chair.
When you are comfortable on the chair we will ask you to confirm your name, address and date of birth.
We examine your arm and place a cuff on your arm to maintain a small amount of pressure during donation (this does not measure blood pressure).
We then examine your arm to find a suitable vein and clean it with an antiseptic sponge.
More about what happens on the day when you give blood.
More about what happens after you give blood