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Giving Blood

You can help give the most precious gift of all - the gift of life - by becoming a regular blood donor. One blood donation could be used to help up to three people.

While only one in 30 people actually give blood, sooner or later one in three of us will need it.

Who can give blood?

Most people are able to give blood if they:
  • Are fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation
  • Are aged between 16 and 70 (in some states 16 & 17-year-olds require parental/guardian consent)
  • Weigh more than 50kgs
  • Have eaten and drunk 3-4 glasses of water/juice prior to giving blood.
  • Your age, recent short-term illnesses, past medical history, pregnancy and other issues may prevent you from becoming a blood donor temporarily or permanently. These rules are put in place to ensure the blood supply is as safe as possible for recipients.

Ten key steps to giving blood

  • Check your eligibility. Click here to take the online quiz.
  • Find a donor centre. Click here to find your closest centre.
  • Make an appointment. Click here to register online, or call 13 14 95.
  • Arrive for your appointment. Make sure you have plenty to eat and drink before you go to your donor centre and remember to take some ID along with you.
  • Complete a Donor Questionnaire. You will be asked questions about your general health - all results will be kept confidential. You will also be asked to present your ID, which must show three separate identifiers (e.g. name, date of birth, address, signature, photo if possible.)
  • Talk to a Blood Service staff member. This short interview with a trained staff member will include a 'finger prick' test to check on your haemoglobin, as well as a blood pressure test.
  • Make your donation. Don't worry - the needle will feel no worse than a pinch on the inside of your elbow. If you do have any problems, there will be skilled health professionals on duty to help out. Your actual donation should take only around 5-10 minutes (although you should allow an hour for the whole process from arrival to departure).
  • After giving blood, you'll be given something to eat and drink. Within 24-48 hours your blood volume will be completely restored - drinking extra water-based fluids before and after giving blood will help this process.
  • Make your next appointment. If you are a whole donor, you can give again in around 12 weeks; if you are an apheresis plasma donor, you can give again in around 2 weeks.
  • Tell your friends. It's vital that more Australians register to give blood, so spread the word to your friends and family.

More Information

For more information about giving blood, visit the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website or phone 13 14 95.