Be a hero to your neighborhood! Give blood. Save lives.
Did you know one blood donation could save three lives? When you give blood at UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center, the blood supplies Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and Estes Park Medical Center.
Blood donor guidelines
To donate blood, a person must be at least 18 years old (or 17 with a parent’s permission) and show photo identification. New blood donors must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health. Prior donors must weigh at least 110 pounds.
UCHealth participates in the National Marrow Donor Program. More information can be found at one of the Garth Englund Blood Donation Centers or the Marrow Donor Program at UCHealth.
Blood safety rules require that individuals may not donate if they have:
- Been exposed to the hepatitis or AIDS viruses.
- Had a major illness or surgery in past year.
- Had a tattoo/permanent make-up in the past 12 months; these individuals are deferred for 12 months from the date of the tattoo application, unless applied by a state-regulated, professional shop using sterile needles and non-reused ink.
- Given birth, had a miscarriage or abortion in the past six weeks, or are currently pregnant.
- Been to a malaria-risk country in the past year. If you’ve traveled to Mexico, check with us about donating; the rules have changed and there are fewer restrictions.
- Lived in the United Kingdom and certain U.K. overseas possessions from 1980 to 1996 for periods of time that add up to a total of three months.
- Received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom since 1980.
- Lived or worked on a U.S. military base in eight other European countries for periods of time that add up to a total of six months. The years of residence vary by country, but are either 1980 to 1990 or 1980 to 1996.
- Lived or stayed in continental Europe between 1980 and 1996 for periods of time that add up to a total of five years.
The donation process takes 30-45 minutes. This includes the time needed to fill out health history and consent forms. The actual drawing of blood – a pint – takes five to 10 minutes.
Before you go to a donation site, please make sure you’ve eaten something.
When you enter a Garth Englund donation site, staff members will guide you through the process and answer your questions. If at any time during the donation process you feel light-headed, please tell a staff member.
The entire process takes about 45 minutes. This includes time to complete your health history and sign consent forms.
Among the questions for your health history, you will be asked about medicines that you take. Most medicines are okay.
You will also be asked about behavior that is considered a risk for HIV or hepatitis exposure.
The rest of the process includes having your temperature and blood pressure taken, and a finger-stick test called hematocrit that checks your volume of red blood cells.
Your arm is cleaned with a sterile disinfectant swab. A needle is inserted into a vein on the inside of your elbow. The actual blood withdrawal takes five to 10 minutes. When you are done, a wrap is put on your arm.
Rest for a short time afterwards.
Enjoy a snack.
Please fill out a reminder postcard for your next appointment. You can give blood once every 56 days (or eight weeks).
Donating blood marrow
Volunteers are needed to join an international registry and become potential donors of bone marrow for the benefit of people with cancer or other life-threatening conditions.
Marrow donors should be in good health, between the ages of 18 and 60, and available for any patient who is searching for a marrow match. Donors’ records are typically kept in the registry database until their 61st birthday.
To learn more about eligibility requirements and how volunteers donate their bone marrow, go to the National Marrow Donor Program web site or call 1.800.MARROW-2.