Your questions about giving blood; answered

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Are you a blood donor - if not, why not?

We need 400 new blood donors every day in the UK to keep up with demand.

The thing that puts most people off giving blood is a fear of needles or they’re worried it’s going to hurt. However, the majority of people who don’t give blood don’t do it because they’ve never considered it or just ‘forget’ to book an appointment.

Well, we’re on a mission to encourage as many people to donate as possible.

When you donate, you are literally saving a life. So, here are some of your questions about blood donation; answered.

Does it hurt?

Not really.

Of course, you do have a needle inserted into your arm which can feel like a sharp scratch but isn’t anything too painful.

In terms of the actual blood donation, you may feel some sensation in your arm, but this shouldn’t be painful.

How long does it take?

A full donation usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

The whole process can take up to 45 minutes which includes time when you arrive to have a drink, a health screening and time after for a cup of tea and some biscuits. Which, by the way, are free – nice.

Can I go on with my day as normal after donating?


Giving blood doesn’t mean you need to spend the day bed bound. After donating, you’ll need to take it easy which means not doing any strenuous activities such as an intense workout or a big night out with your mates.

Otherwise, you should feel completely normal and able to crack on with your day.

How do I know if I can give blood?

There are several things that mean you might not able to give blood.

For example, if you’re on some medications, travelled to certain countries recently, you are pregnant and many more.

For the most part, everyone is eligible to give blood. However, it’s important to check before you arrive at your appointment.

How often can I give blood?

Men can donate every 12 weeks and women can donate every 16 weeks. Periods; making life that little bit more difficult since the dawn of time

Where can I donate?

If you live in a city, you’ll likely have a permanent donor centre you can go to.

Otherwise, blood donations set up in mobile vehicles or in village halls all over the country. All you need to do is look up your postcode on the Give Blood website to find out where your nearest donation is taking place and on what date.

Giving blood is just a small thing you can do a few times a year that makes a massive difference to people’s lives. Your donation can save someone who is dying or someone who needs an urgent blood transfusion.

For 45 minutes of your time, some free tea and coffee and a few biscuits, you can save someone from dying. So, what’s stopping you?

Register to become a donor today.