You have decided to give blood. You have a choice of one of two places to give. You could go to the Red Cross or to a blood donation center affiliated with a hospital. The difference when you give to the Red Cross is simple. They will group your blood with others of the same type and sell the unit to a hospital for them to use. If you were to donate at a blood donation center affiliated with a hospital, the blood collected will be used by that hospital, allowing them to use it directly and not have to buy the blood from a place such as the Red Cross.

The procedure is like this. You make an appointment and when the time arrives you go to the place to give your blood. You will be greeted at the front desk and handed a sheet of paper to fill out. These are questions to determine your eligibility to donate. You will have to show them an ID. A drivers' license is okay.

Someone will come out and call you in to be interviewed. Your answers on the paper will be reviewed and the historian, that is what the person is called, will ask you for clarification of questions not answered or unclear. You can ask questions also.

The next thing done is that the historian will take some blood from your finger. This is to test for iron. Your blood pressure will be taken and your temperature also. They will want a pulse taken.

If all is well you will next be shown a bed you can lie on. A phlebotomist will come and look at your arms to see where your best vein is located.

Your best arm will be cleaned with a prep. This is to make sure active germs are killed. You will be asked to open and close your hands a few times and then hold while a needle is inserted. When your blood starts flowing down the line which is attached to the blood collection bag a separate tube will be taken for testing and used to determine if your blood is able to be transfused.

It takes a few minutes to completely give blood. You will be giving a pint.

After giving you will be asked to sit out in the renovation area for fifteen minutes so that they can observe you. You do not want a reaction such as failing to happen.

You have now given blood and you will be thanked. You are one of those who are helping another person in need. You should feel good.