Blood donation is 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 or who have an illness such as cancer, anemia, sickle cell disease, or hemophilia .
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.
About 1 pint of blood is taken when you donate. It takes about 10 minutes. The whole process—including answering questions and having a short exam—takes up to an hour.
Donated blood is tested to make sure that it is safe to use. It's also checked for its type. This makes sure that the person who needs blood gets the right type.