Is it safe to donate blood?
Absolutely! There is no risk of getting AIDS or any other contagious disease by donating blood or platelets. Our equipment is brand new, sterile, and disposable.
How long does it take?
From start to finish, whole blood donors should set aside one hour for their visit. This includes paperwork, talking to a historian, having the blood drawn, and relaxing in our canteen while eating a cookie and drinking some juice. Platelet donations take a little longer — anywhere from two to three hours.
How often can I donate?
You can donate every 56 days (or two months) for whole blood donations, which totals six times a year. For platelet donations, it's more frequent — you can donate up to 24 times a year.
What kind of blood can I donate?
That's completely up to you. Most people donate whole blood, which is also known as red blood. Then there are people who donate platelets. Platelets are the part of the blood that aids in clotting. In a process called platelet apheresis, whole blood is drawn and then separated into its component parts (whole blood, platelets, plasma). Patients who need certain blood components can benefit from your donation. Patients who have cancer, leukemia, transplants and blood disorders need platelets. And since UCLA Health is a Level I trauma center, many patients brought here also require platelets to stop their bleeding.
Do I need to know my blood type to donate?
No, you do not need to know your blood type before donating.
Can anyone donate?
We wish that were the case, but it isn't. To guarantee a safe blood supply to the population, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires us to adhere to specific eligibility requirements. To review them, please view the Donor Self-Screening Form. If you have questions, call us at 310-825-0888 option 2 or email them to us at [email protected].
What about parking?
Gayley: If you need to obtain a parking permit, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. You may park temporarily behind the donor center to obtain parking permit and instructions when you check-in on the second floor.
Ackerman Center: Please contact the Blood & Platelet Center for parking options at 310-825-0888 option 2.
Can I donate if I'm over 65?
Yes. There's no upper age cut off for donating blood, but there is a lower limit. You need to be 17 years old to donate. Either way, you should review the Donor Self-Screening Form.
Does the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center run Blood Drives in the community?
Yes. Community blood drives are a big part of what we do. And if you know of a place that would like to have one, we'd love to hear about it. Give us a call at 310-267-0284 or email us at [email protected].
What are your hours?
Our hours vary depending on whether you’re making a whole blood donation or a platelet donation. See details on our hours and locations.
May I bring someone with me when I come to donate?
No. For the safety of our donors and staff, only donors with appointments are permitted in the Donor Center.
Do you pay for donations?
No. All donations are made strictly on a volunteer basis. There is never any monetary reimbursement for a blood donation at UCLA.
How do I prepare for a blood donation?
FOR ALL DONORS:
- Drink at least 8-12 glasses of water a day for 2-3 days prior to donation. On the day of donation, avoid caffeine.
- Bring photo identification.
- Wear a loose top or short-sleeved shirt.
- If you are under the age of 17 years old, please make sure to bring a signed UCLA parental consent form.
FOR PLATELET DONORS:
- Avoid aspirin or aspirin containing medications for 3 days. If aspirin or aspirin-containing medication is prescribed by your MD for maintenance, do not discontinue medication to be eligible for platelet donation.
- Consume plenty of calcium-rich foods and beverages a few days prior to your donation.
BLOOD & PLATELET DONATION TIPS
The week leading up to your donation:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat healthy, especially iron-rich, food.
- Drink at least 8 – 12 glasses of water a day in the 2-3 days before your donation.
Examples of healthy food:
- Proteins: Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Eggs, Beans, Peanut butter.
- Breads and Cereals: Dry whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread, Bran cereals, Oatmeal cereals.
- Vegetables & Fruits: Raisins/dates/prunes, Leafy greens, Broccoli, Bananas, Apples, Watermelon.
On the day of your donation:
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
- Drink plenty of water before and after your donation.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Eat a full healthy meal at least 2 hours before you donate. (See the list above.)
- Remember to bring your picture ID.
- Donors must wear face covering to enter the donor center.