Skip to main content

Blood Drive

Blood drives are hosted at JFK usually once-twice per year. Dates and info for 2018 blood drive(s) - TBA 

The voluntary act of blood donation serves an important need in the community.

Parental permission is required for all 16-year-olds to donate blood. When we are required to obtain parental consent, your son or daughter will need to turn in a signed consent form to the donation site each time he or she plans to donate. Students 18 and up are not required to get permission from their parents. We HIGHLY advise students 18 and up talk to their parents before donating

Why should you give blood?

Almost everyone during their life will know someone who needs a blood transfusion. There is no substitute and still only one source of blood for transfusion- volunteer blood donors. You can make a difference in someone's life! 

Is it safe?

Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded. Specially trained staff are available at each blood drive and details of each donor's health and activities are discussed in a confidential setting prior to blood donation to determine eligibility. 

Only A Few Steps To Make A BIG Difference

1. What should you do to prepare?

Sleep: Get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before your donation

Eat: Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. Don't skip any meals! Make healthy food choices; eat proteins (lean meat, cheese, yogurt), complex carbohydrates (bread, cereal, fruit), and iron-rich foods (red meat, fish, poultry, beans, raisins)

Drink: Drink an extra few glasses of water or fluids during the day.

2. What happens during the blood donation process? 

  • Registration

Remember to bring your photo ID and if required the signed parental consent form.

Bring the names of medications you are taking.

Bring a list of the places you have traveled outside of the US and Canada in the last 12 months 

Read the educational materials about donating whole blood or apheresis

Ask Red Cross staff if you have questions.

  • Health History & Mini Physical 

You should feel healthy and well, and meet other criteria.

We will take your temperature, check your blood count, and measure your blood pressure and pulse.

We will ask you questions during a private and confidential interview. This protects your health and the safety of patients who receive blood transfusions.

  • Donation 

We will cleanse an area of your arm and insert a needle to draw whole blood.

You can relax, listen to music, talk to other donors or read while the blood is collected.

After the collections, a staff member will remove the needle and place a bandage on your arm.

Helpful Tips:

- Think about something else to distract yourself from the blood being drawn. Stay calm!

- Lift your legs (one at a time) off of the donor bed and hold for a few seconds to tense and relax the muscles in your legs. Doing this during the donation will decrease your chances of having a reaction.

  • Refreshments 

You should spend 15 minutes or more enjoying refreshments in the recovery area.

If you become dizzy or light -headed, stay in the recovery area and tell a staff member immediately 


3. What should you do after the donation?

Be sure to sit and relax in the refreshment area for 15 minutes or more and have a drink and a snack.

Afterwards, drink a few glasses of fluids to stay well-hydrated.

Most donors have uneventful donations and feel good about donating. Some people may experience light-headedness, dizziness, or an upset stomach that resolves soon after donation, Less commonly, a donor may faint after blood donation. If you feel faint, stop what you are doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. 

Student Athletes Recommendations

Student athletes should wait about 12 hours or more to resume strenuous exercise after blood donation, depending on how they feel. You temporarily lose fluid after donation which your body replaces within 24 hours or sooner if you drink extra fluids. As a precaution, do not donate blood on the same day of a competition or strenuous practice.

High Performance Athletes

After a whole blood donation, the body replaces the red blood cells (the cells that deliver oxygen to muscles and tissues) within about 5 weeks, depending on nutrition and iron status. High-performance competitive athletes may notice a marginal decrease in exercise tolerance for about 1 week after a whole blood donation.  

Plan ahead to best schedule your donation with sports and other activities.