Donating blood or platelets is easy!

Here is a step by step description of what happens when you come in to donate.

  1. Check-in with the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center staff.
  2. The staff will provide you with instructions for completing the required paperwork.
  3. Read the information provided, complete the Donor History Questionnaire and return it to the Blood & Platelet Center staff. You need to answer the questions on the form each time you donate as the form changes periodically.
  4. To ensure you are eligible to donate, a medical historian will review your Donor History Questionnaire with you and take your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. We will also prick your finger and perform a hemoglobin test.
  5. One of our collection staff will call your name, ask you a few questions and begin the donation process. The blood donation process will take approximately 10 minutes to 15 minutes. The platelet donation process varies from person to person.
  6. After donating, you will need to rest for at least 15 minutes and enjoy delicious snacks.

In summary...

Donating blood will take approximately 1 hour from start to finish, while donating platelets will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.


Whole blood, after its collection, is separated into its component parts – red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitated AHF (antihemophilic factor) – and used in separate transfusions to help save lives.

Platelets - the part of the blood that aids in clotting – is important for emergencies and helps patients with cancer, leukemia, transplants and blood disorders. In a process called apheresis, whole blood is drawn, selected component parts are separated out, and the rest of the blood is safely returned to the donor. Since platelet donations can take up to two hours, donors sit in ergonomically designed contoured chairs, streaming television options.