"Blood donation means giving some of your blood so that it can be used to help someone else. Donated blood helps people who have lost blood in an accident. It also helps people who have an illness such as cancer, anemia, sickle cell disease, or hemophilia.
If you donate blood before you have surgery, your own blood will be kept for you in case you need a blood transfusion. If you don't need it, your blood may be donated to someone else.
Donated blood includes red blood cells and the other things that make up the blood, such as platelets and plasma. Blood that contains all the parts is called whole blood.
You can donate blood at American Red Cross clinics or other clinics or blood banks. You may be able to donate during blood drives at your workplace.
When you donate whole blood, you give about 1 pint (473 mL). It takes about 10 minutes. The whole processincluding answering questions and having a short examtakes up to an hour.
Donated blood is tested to make sure that it's safe to use. It's also checked for its type. This makes sure that the person who needs blood gets the right type."