Blood is a vital substance which sustains life for each and every one of us. Every day there are patients in our community who require blood transfusions to recover from surgery, serious accidents or illnesses. There is no substitute for this vital substance. Volunteer blood donors are its only source.

Program Eligibility

There are a few basic requirements for potential blood donors. If you are considering blood donation you must:

  • be at least 17 years old. Individuals 16 years of age can donate with written permission from a parent or guardian;
  • weigh at least 110 pounds;
  • have no history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS);
  • allow 56 days between whole blood donations;
  • be feeling well…no sore throat, flu or active allergies.

These and other, more detailed donor eligibility guidelines have been established for your safety and the safety of the patients who need blood. If, for example, you have had dental work performed recently, depending upon the particulars, you may be asked to donate at a later date. Again, these guidelines are necessary for your safety and that of the patient. If you have questions regarding your eligibility, please call the blood center at 217-367-2202 or 800-217-GIVE (4483).

The Process

Donating blood is a relatively simple process. The entire procedure takes about forty-five minutes.

1. Preparation

Following a few simple steps before you arrive for your appointment will make the end process much easier. First, it is important that you are well rested on the day of your donation, so be sure to get a good night's rest. You also will need to drink two three extra glasses of fluids before you arrive for your appointment. Food is also important. You need to have a low fat meal approximately two to three hours before you donate.

2. Registration

The next step is registering. You will need to show us a piece of identification which contains your name and either your Social Security Number or address; the Food and Drug Administration requires us to verify the identity of all blood donors. Next you will be asked to read a safety notice and to complete the donor registration form. The donor registration form includes detailed questions pertaining to your past and current health status.

3. Medical Screening

Following registration, your donor registration form will be confidentially reviewed by a qualified staff member and you will be given a mini-physical. Your temperature and pulse will be assessed and a small drop of blood will be taken from your fingertip to check your red blood count. If your red blood count is low, you should wait a few more weeks before donating blood. You may ask a staff member any questions you have at this time or at any point along the way.

4. Donation

The next step is the actual donation. After you relax on a donation bed, your blood pressure will be evaluated. Next, the inside of your arm, at the elbow, will be carefully cleansed and prepared for donation. For every donor, we use a sterile, single-use needle. At the beginning of the donation, you will feel a slight pinch from the needle. This sensation will pass quickly and you should feel no discomfort during your donation. Throughout the donation process a qualified phlebotomist will monitor your progress.

Only one pint of blood will be collected. An average donor has between 10 and 12 pints of blood. Most people find it very easy to donate a pint of blood.

5. Refreshments and Relaxation

Following blood donation, you will be encouraged to drink fluids to help your body replace the fluid volume of the pint of blood you have donated. You will also have the chance to eat some cookies or other snacks. You may leave in about 10 minutes after checking out with a staff member.

The whole donation process takes no more than an hour and usually you are done even faster. The actual blood donation takes only 5-10 minutes. In this short amount of time, you will be giving the greatest gift of all to a critically ill patient-the gift of life.

Please remember…

  • There is no chance of contracting AIDS or any other disease by donating blood.
  • A sterile, single-use needle is used on each donor and then discarded.
  • You are eligible to donate whole blood every 56 days,
  • Your blood donation can help more that one patient since it can be divided into separate components-red blood cells, platelets and plasma.

Blood Donation Opportunities

To learn more about donating blood, or to obtain information about establishing a blood program for your business, school, club or place of worship, please call Community Blood Services of Illinois at 217-367-2202 or 800-217-GIVE (4483).

Blood Center Donation Hours:

1408 West University Avenue
Urbana, Illinois
Monday and Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Satellite Donation Hours:

Coles County Donor Center
Cross County Mall
700 Broadway Avenue East STE 36
Mattoon IL, 61938
(Next to Cellular One)
Monday and Wednesday, 12:00 noon - 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Rantoul Recreation Department
100 E. Flessner
Rantoul, Illinois
First & Third Wednesday of Every Month,
12:00 noon - 5:30 p.m.

Danville Elks Blood Donor Center
300 E. Liberty Lane
Danville IL 61832
Monday and Friday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday, Noon - 6:00 pm

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