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Prepare For Your Donation

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Hello, blood donors! Before you walk in our doors at ConnectLife to donate whole blood, double red cells, or platelets, it’s important to come prepared.

Donating blood isn't scary. It's easy and painless. With each donation, you can save local lives here in the Western New York community, AND have a great time doing it.

Below is a checklist to help you prepare for your donation. To donate you must…

#1 - Be at least 17 years of age or 16 with a signed permission slip.

New York State requires that 16-year-olds obtain written permission from their parent or guardian in order to donate blood.

Download PDF • 204KB

#2 - Have a picture ID.

When you walk in, we ask donors for general information, such as name and address. In order to maintain accurate records, all donors are asked to present proper photo identification. This may be a driver’s license, passport, or even a company ID card.

#3 - Be feeling healthy and well.

If you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms, please reschedule your appointment!

#4 - Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Drink a ton of water. And when you think you have had enough water, drink more.

#5 - Prepare by eating iron-rich foods.

Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, which needs to be at a certain level to donate. Increasing your intake of Vitamin C will help your body absorb iron.

Iron-Rich Food Options:

Fruits: watermelon, prunes, dried apricots, dried peaches, strawberries, prune juice, raisins, dates, and figs

Grains: white bread (enriched), whole wheat bread, enriched macaroni, wheat products, bran cereals (total), corn meal, oatmeal, rye bread, and enriched rice

Meat: beef, lamb, ham, turkey, chicken, veal, pork, liver, and liverwurst

Seafood: shrimp, dried cod, mackerel, sardines, oysters, haddock, clams, scallops, and tuna

Vegetables: spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, string beans, collards, kale, and chard

More: eggs (any style), dried peas, dried beans, instant breakfast, corn syrup, maple syrup, lentils, almonds, and sunflower seeds

What to AVOID:

Alcohol: Do not consume alcohol 24-48 hours before your donation.

Fatty foods: Don’t plan on grabbing a fast-food meal or a donut before your donation. Why? Fatty foods can alter the results of tests run on your blood to check for any sort of infectious disease.

Aspirin: Avoid taking aspirin for at least 48 hours before your appointment if you’re donating blood platelets.

If you have any questions about donating whole blood, double red cells, or platelets - don't hesitate to give our team at ConnectLife a call 716-529-4270.

(Download our Blood Donation Tip PDF below)

Download PDF • 11.18MB

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