How Often Can You Donate Blood? you must wait for a minimum of 56 days between whole blood donations. You must wait at least 7 days after donating blood before you can donate platelets. After an automated double red cell collection, you must wait 112 days before donating again.

Since there are different blood products that you can potentially donate, there are different criteria for how often you can donate. Many people donate whole blood and must wait 56 days between each donation. Platelets can be donated every 7 days or up to 24 times a year, while plasma can be donated every 28 days or up to 13 times a year. Double red cell donation — two units of red blood cells donated while your plasma and platelets are returned to you — can occur every 112 days or up to 3 times a year.
You must wait for at least eight weeks (56 days) between donations of whole blood. Regulations are different for those giving blood for themselves (autologous donors) and for those donating blood by automated collection methods (apheresis).


You can donate platelets once in a seven day period and up to 24 times a year. You must wait at least 7 days after donating platelets before donating whole blood. After an automated double red cell collection, you must wait 112 days before donating again.

In any eight (8) week period, you can make one blood donation and one platelet donation or six (6) platelet donations.


Donating blood has benefits for your emotional and physical health. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, helping others can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve your emotional well-being
  • benefit your physical health
  • help get rid of negative feelings
  • provide a sense of belonging and reduce isolation

Research has found further evidence of the health benefits that come specifically from donating blood.

Free health checkup

In order to give blood, you’re required to undergo a health screening. A trained staff member performs this checkup. They’ll check your:

  • pulse
  • blood pressure
  • body temperature
  • hemoglobin levels
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This free mini-physical can offer excellent insight into your health. It can effectively detect problems that could indicate an underlying medical condition or risk factors for certain diseases.

Your blood is also tested for several diseases. These include:

  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • West Nile virus
  • syphilis
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

Does donating blood lower your risk of heart disease?

The research is mixed on whether blood donation actually lowers the risk of heart disease and heart attack.

A 2017 study trusted Source suggests that regular blood donations are associated with increased risk of heart disease possibly due to unfavorable cholesterol levels

However, donating blood regularly may lower iron stores, according to a 2013 study trusted Source. This may reduce the risk of a heart attack. High body iron stores are believed to increase the risk of a heart attack.

Regular blood donations were thought to lower blood pressure trusted Source, but a 2017 study trusted Source suggests these observations are deceiving and are not a real physiological response.

Side effects of donating blood

Blood donation is safe for healthy adults. There’s no risk of contracting the disease. New, sterile equipment is used for each donor.

Some people may feel nauseous, lightheaded, or dizzy after donating blood. If this happens, it should only last a few minutes. You can lie down with your feet up until you feel better.

You may also experience some bleeding at the site of the needle. Applying pressure and raising your arm for a couple of minutes will usually stop this. You may develop a bruise at the site.

Call the blood donation center if:

  • You still feel lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous after drinking, eating, and resting.
  • You develop a raised bump or continue bleeding at the needle site.
  • You have arm pain, numbness, or tingling.

During the donation

You must register to donate blood. This includes providing identification, your medical history, and undergoing a quick physical examination. You’ll also be given some information about blood donation to read.

Once you’re ready, your blood donation procedure will begin. Whole blood donation is the most common type of donation. This is because it offers the most flexibility. It can be transfused as whole blood or separated into red cells, platelets, and plasma for different recipients.

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For a whole blood donation procedure:

  1. You’ll be seated in a reclining chair. You can donate blood either sitting or lying down.
  2. A small area of your arm will be cleaned. A sterile needle will then be inserted.
  3. You’ll remain seated or lying down while a pint of your blood is drawn. This takes 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. When a pint of blood has been collected, a staff member will remove the needle and bandage your arm.

Other types of donation include:

  • platelet donation (plateletpheresis)
  • plasma donation (plasmapheresis)
  • double red cell donation

These types of donations are performed using a process called apheresis. An apheresis machine is connected to both of your arms. It collects a small amount of blood and separates the components before returning the unused components back to you. This cycle is repeated several times over approximately two hours.

Once your donation is complete, you’ll be given a snack and a drink and be able to sit and rest for 10 or 15 minutes before you leave. If you feel faint or nauseous, you’ll be able to lie down until you feel better.

How Many Times A Year Can I Give Blood?

NHS Blood and Transplant advise donors to donate at an average of 16 weeks or more. Men can give four times a year and women three times.

Why Do You Have To Wait Between Blood Donations?

Why wait between blood donations? From time to time, blood donors ask why there are different waiting periods between blood donations. The answer is simple: It takes your body different amounts of time to regenerate what you give. … After a whole-blood donationyou are asked to wait 56 days before you give again.

How Often Can A Woman Donate Blood?

Male donors need to wait a minimum of 12 weeks between whole blood donations and female donors 16 weeks. So why wait? Unlike white cells and platelets, it takes several weeks for all the red cells to be replaced. You can schedule your appointments the right distance apart using our online appointment system.

What Should Be The Gap Between Two Blood Donations?

The whole process takes about 30 minutes. The minimum time advised between two donations is 3 months. This gap helps blood regain the normal hemoglobin count. Ideally, a person can donate blood 4 times a year which means a gap of 3 months is adequate.
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