Donor FAQs

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Why should I donate blood?

STBTC needs to collect an adequate blood supply for more than 100 hospitals in 48 South Texas counties. We depend on volunteer blood donors to make this happen. Also, blood is perishable and there is no substitute.

Where can I donate?

You may donate at any of our seven neighborhood donor rooms or at any mobile blood drive. Click here for a list of locations.

How often can I donate?

Whole blood donors must wait at least 8 weeks between donations. Dual red cell donors must wait at least 16 weeks. Platelet donors must wait 1 week.

How do I benefit from making a donation?

You receive a mini-physical (pulse, temperature and iron check) and the satisfaction that come from saving lives.

Are the health history questions necessary every time?

The FDA requires that all blood centers ask about your medical history every time you donate to ensure the safety of the blood supply. You have to wait a certain amount of time between donations. A lot can happen in that time. The questions serve as a layer of protection for patients who receive blood.

How long does donated blood last?

Refrigerated red blood cells can be stored for up to 42 days. Plasma is frozen and stored for up to one year. Platelets can be stored for only five days.

Who receives my blood?

Blood is used for many different patients including: cancer patients, open-heart surgery patients, diabetics, recipients of organ or tissue transplants, and trauma victims.

How will I feel afterwards?

After resting for five to ten minutes and enjoying refreshments to replenish your fluids, you should feel just fine and ready to continue your daily activities. You should refrain from heavy lifting or extreme physical exertion for 24 hours and you’ll feel great knowing you have helped save three lives.

Is it safe to give blood?

Yes. All supplies used to collect blood are new, completely sterile and used only once. There is no risk of disease transmission to a donor.

Does donating blood hurt?

Comfort levels vary from person to person but most first-time donors wonder why they waited so long! You will feel a slight pinch and it's all over before you know it!

Who can donate?

The qualifications to be a blood donor are simple. You must be in good general health, at least 17 years of age (or 16 with parental consent form) and weigh at least 110 lbs (or 120 lbs if 16 years old).