Avery Campus
  • (828) 733-6031
Mitchell Campus
  • (828) 688-2371

How Often Can You Donate Blood?

How Often Can You Donate Blood?

Donating blood saves lives. It’s essential for people undergoing certain surgical procedures, transfusions, and cancer treatments. Because some blood types are rare, getting help from everyone in the community is essential. 

Cancer patients rely on blood transfusions to bring their blood count back up after treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Those who have gone through trauma resulting in heavy blood loss may need transfusions, as well. 

If you’re thinking about donating blood, we’ll help you better understand the process. So to start with, how often can you donate blood?

Ways to Donate Blood and How Often You Can Do So

There are four main ways to donate blood:

  • Whole blood donation
  • Power Red donation
  • Platelet donation 
  • Plasma donation

Plasma and platelet donations can happen multiple times a month. Platelet donation involves just donating the platelets, which help people with blood clotting issues, those having surgery, or those undergoing cancer treatments. You can donate platelets every seven days and up to 24 times per year. 

Plasma donations involve donating the liquid part of your blood. It can help trauma patients and those experiencing shock. Plasma donations can happen every 28 days and up to 13 times a year.

A whole blood donation includes all parts of your blood, including white and red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. You can make a whole blood donation every 56 days or six times a year. 

A Power Red Blood Donation collects two units of red blood cells. You can donate red blood cells every 112 days — up to three times a year.

Where to Donate Locally

If you’d like to donate blood, you can do so at various locations near Avery and Mitchell Counties throughout the year. These locations include:

  • Mayland Community College: 200 Mayland Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
  • First Baptist Church of Spruce Pine: 125 Tappan Street, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
  • Altamont United Methodist Church: 100 Altamont Church Road, Newland, NC 28657

You can also contact the American Red Cross to find out when blood drives will occur in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Now you have the answer to the question, “How often can you donate blood?” However, you may have some additional answers about the donation process.

What Is the Blood Donation Process Like?

The process of donating blood is simple and doesn’t take very long. It begins with registration, which will ask for your name, address, phone number, and donor ID number (if you have one). You’ll have to show two forms of ID. 

The next step is to answer some quick questions about health. This is private and confidential. You’ll get your hemoglobin, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature checked. 

Your arm will be cleaned. Then, your blood will be drawn using a new and sterile needle. It’s a quick pinch that is over in seconds. You’ll have time after that to relax as you wait for the bag to fill. Once the donation is over, you can enjoy some refreshments.

How Do I Prepare for a Blood Donation?

How Do I Prepare for a Blood Donation?

Eat something before you come to donate blood. Drink more water or even a sports drink a few hours before. It’s best to eat iron-rich foods, including red meat and fish. Make sure to drink lots of water and get a good night’s sleep.

What Do I Do After I Donate?

After donating, drink lots of water. There will be refreshments available, but you should continue drinking water once you return home. Keep the bandage on for a few hours, and don’t do any heavy lifting. For the next few days, try to add iron-rich foods to your diet. 

If you get dizzy, stop what you’re doing, lie down, and put your feet up until the feeling passes.

Helping Others With a Blood Donation

Helping others in your community and even around the country can be simple. All you have to do is donate blood. Once you figure out your preferred way to donate, it just takes a few minutes of your time to make a life-saving difference for someone else.