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Be A Blood Donor
The ASBP is a program comprised of dedicated men and women; service members, family members, retirees, veterans, federal employees, and others with a commitment to saving lives worldwide.
Our donors are the heart of our program. Without donors taking the time to come in and donate and on a regular basis, the ASBP cannot stand ready for our mission of supporting military healthcare operations worldwide with a steady supply of quality blood products.
Your interest in donating for our military community is appreciated.
Since 1952, the ASBP has provided more than 1. 5 million units of blood to treat battlefield illnesses and injuries.
How Your Donation Helps Save Lives
Blood is a fascinating substance. It rejuvenates itself while also carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. It can be donated and the body will still have plenty. It’s a helper and a healer.
A blood donation, whether in the form of whole blood, platelets, or plasma, is considered a treatment, somewhat like a medicine in the medical field. It helps the burn victim heal tissue, the cancer patient combat diseased cells, and the trauma victim stay alive. To learn more about what your blood is made up of, why there are different types and what your blood type can do for others, visit our About Blood page.
Ready to Donate ?
Did you know that of the 38% of individuals in the U.S. that are eligible to donate, only 3% do? The ASBP is hoping you can help change that percentage. Donating on a frequent basis can make blood shortages become a thing of the past. Every type is needed. Every blood product is needed.
Are you thinking about giving a standard donation (whole blood) or even an apheresis donation (platelets, plasma or red cells)? Consider looking into how each of these are used and what eligibility is required. Visit our About Blood page to find out more.
Blood product safety is always a top concern. Therefore, the FDA sets requirements to keep blood safe and regulates blood program organization to include the ASBP. Because of these requirements, not everyone can donate. Some requirements for donating only defer an individual temporarily, while others may be indefinite.
Basic eligibility and common deferrals, both dealing with medical or travel, can be found on our Can I Donate page.
Let’s Save Lives!
Below is what to generally expect and be aware of prior, during and after your donation experience.
Now that you’re ready to donate, looked over basic eligibility and deferrals, and are feeling great, you can visit our page of donor centers, email us directly, or go to our registration and drive locator site and do a quick zip code search for an ASBP drive or center nearest you!
Your donation will make an IMMEDIATE impact on a service member, their family, retiree, or veteran in need. Welcome to the lifesaving family!
Before Your Donation
Get plenty of sleep the night before you plan to donate.
Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as a hamburger, fries or ice cream.
Drink plenty of water before the donation.
Check to see if any medications you are taking or recently took would prevent you from donating. For example, if you are a platelet donor, you must not take aspirin for two days prior to donating. Talk to your doctor before discontinuing any medications.
At Your Donation | Donation Process
STEP 1: Donor registration. You will complete a series of donor questions, including your name, address, phone number, etc. You will be asked a few questions about your health.
STEP 2: Receive a mini-physical Next, you will receive a mini-physical to ensure that you are healthy enough to donate blood. This includes checking your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and iron level.
STEP 3: Blood donation You will be asked to recline in a donor chair. One of our phlebotomists will prepare your arm, sanitizing it and asking you to squeeze your fist to increase blood circulation. Because sterile, disposable, one-use-only supplies are used for your donation. The blood collection will be started and typically lasts about 20 minutes to donate one unit (about a pint).
STEP 4: After your donation - juice and cookies Now, you’ve earned a snack! We encourage you to relax in our refreshment area and enjoy some juice and cookies to replenish your body before you take on the rest of your day.
After Your Donation Guidance
After donating, you will be directed to a refreshment area, where you rest and eat a light snack. After 15 minutes, you can leave if feeling just fine.
After your blood donation:
Drink extra fluids.
Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for about five hours.
If you feel lightheaded, lie down with your feet up until the feeling passes.
Keep your bandage on and dry for the next five hours.
If you have bleeding after removing the bandage, put pressure on the site and raise your arm until the bleeding stops.
If bruising occurs, apply a cold pack to the area periodically during the first 24 hours.
Consider adding iron-rich foods to your diet to replace the iron lost with blood donation.
Contact the blood donor center or your doctor if you:
Forgot to report any important health information.
Have signs and symptoms of an illness, such as a fever, within several days after your blood donation.
Are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 48 hours after donating blood.
There is no substitute for donated blood, it brings life and saves life. Each person has enough to safely donate which the body can then replenish. Blood is composed of various components and unique types and factors.
Blood is considered a medicine and therefore a treatment, which can be used in many ways
Help provide treatment for burn victims, individuals with blood-borne illnesses, and some cancers.
Support major surgeries, scheduled or unplanned.
A stabilizer during trauma and emergency situations.
ASBP is regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines to maintain the safety and quality of blood products. The program is held to the same standards and requirements as civilian collection agencies, and along with them, receive accreditation from the Association of Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB), a not-for-profit international transfusion medicine association.
Whole blood is made from various components including blood plasma, platelets, white cells, and red cells. With modern medical technology, patients sometimes receive just a component they need instead of receiving a whole blood transfusion. One of the benefits of this treatment approach is that multiple patients can benefit from a single donation. And a reason why people site that one donation can save up to 3 lives, because of how a whole blood donation can be separated into components!
Whole blood (all components): Requires less processing than other components and is arguably more flexible as it can be broken down into its individual components. Medically, it is useful when a patient needs all blood components. For example, a patient may require whole blood after undergoing a major surgery or after a traumatic event.
Red Blood Cells (RBC): Carry oxygen to the rest of the body from the lungs. They also take carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled. They are used to treat patients with chronic anemia, some blood disorders including sickle cell disease, among other uses.
Platelets: The primary purpose of platelets is covering the blood vessels lining to prevent or stop bleeding. They are often needed during organ transplants, some cancer patients, and treating patients with thrombocytopenia who have a shortage of platelets.
Plasma: The liquid that makes up our blood. The other blood components are suspended in plasma inside our body. It is often used for shock patients, burn patients, trauma patients, and for individuals with blood clotting issues.
There are four different blood groups - A, B, AB, and O. A person's blood group is distinguished by tiny markers known as antigens which cover the blood cell surface. Below is a simple breakdown of blood groups and antigens.
Group A blood has A antigens
Group B blood has B antigens
Group AB blood has both A and B antigens
Group O blood has neither A nor B antigens
Blood can be separated into three main components – red blood cells (RBCs), platelets, and plasma. Depending on a person's blood group, their plasma can produce antibodies against foreign antigens. If a person receives RBCs that their plasma has created antibodies against, the new blood will be attacked, which could prove fatal.
In addition to A and B antigens, there is also an Rh antigen. A person's blood type is determined by the presence or absence of the Rh antigen. Individuals who have the antigen are known as Rh positive and individuals without it are known as Rh negative. The combination of an individual's blood group (A, B, AB, O) and the presence or absence of the Rh antigen (+ or -) determines an individual's blood type.
Individuals who are Rh negative can develop anti-Rh antibodies. If these antibodies are developed, they could attack Rh positive blood and cause a fatal reaction, therefore, Rh negative individuals cannot receive Rh positive blood.”
Blood donors are greatly needed and are the heart of the military blood program. Less than 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood and only 3% of this population donate on a regular basis. We need a constant flow of donations, and of all types, year-round all to support the warfighter and their families. Our number one goal is to provide a safe and potent blood supply to our military community and beyond.
A whole blood or ‘typical’ donation only takes about ten minutes; however, there are steps that come before and after donation to keep donors healthy and the blood supply safe. In general, the entire blood donation process takes about 45 minutes to one hour. Actual times vary by site and the number of people donating that day.
It also depends on the type of donation made. Plasma, platelets or red cells can also be donated but require donating through a process called apheresis. Apheresis is the process of removing specific components of blood and returning the remaining components to the donor. Though the process takes about twice as long as a whole blood donation, it can be done more often than a whole blood donation.
To find out what the donation process is like, step-by-step, go to our Be A Donor page
Blood Safety and Donation during COVID-19 Pandemic
Along with our already in-place standards and accreditation, the Food and Drug Administration has reiterated that there have been no known or reported cases of transfusion-related transmission of coronavirus. In general, respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion.
Donating blood is safe. Staff members wear appropriate personal protective equipment, temperatures of staff (before drives or opening) and donors are checked (before donation), social distancing is practiced as best possible, and the placement of cleaning products is increased.
Blood Donor Centers
The ASBP supports over 20 Blood Donor Centers (BDC) throughout the world. The ASBP supports all major Service branches and has BDCs at various military installations.
For questions on where best to donate, please email us. To contact an ASBP BDC directly, use the information below.
Considering sponsoring an ASBP blood drive? Use this to see what it takes. Note: ASBP blood drives can only be held on federally owned or leased properties.
You can also click on the “Give Blood Now” buttons and locate a blood drive or center nearest you.
Can I Donate?
ASBP is regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines to maintain the safety and quality of blood products. We are held to the same standards and requirements as civilian collection agencies, and along with them, receive accreditation by the Association for Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB). Blood product safety is our number one concern.
The eligibility and common deferrals provided on this site not exhaustive or all inclusive, and may vary based on several factors. Contact us here for specific questions or concerns about eligibility and deferrals or reach out to your local ASBP donor center contact for additional information.
Some of the standard requirements to be eligible to donate are listed below. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact us here or visit your local blood donor center.
Must be 17 years of age or older. [some locations take 18 and up only]
Must weigh 116 lbs or more. [depending on donation type, may take 110 lbs]
Must be feeling well for at least 3 days prior to donation.
No major dental work in prior three days/cleaning or fillings for 24 hours.
Be well hydrated/have eaten something prior.
In an abundance of caution, sometimes individuals cannot donate to minimize the risks for the patient. An individual may be deferred temporarily from donating for various reasons, such as extended travel to specific regions. Go to our Common Deferral page for some the most frequently asked about travel and medical deferrals.
Please DO NOT donate blood at this time if you:
Tested positive for COVID-19 in last 10 days.
Have 10 days or less recovered from COVID-19.
Have had symptoms that include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and/or have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness.