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Donating blood

Giving blood in Wales

Did you know that hospitals in Wales require 350 donations a day to support patients in need? We can’t supply our hospitals in Wales without you!

Giving blood is quick, simple and entirely safe. And, the best part? You’re saving lives.

Donor before giving blood
Welsh flag

We want you

We need blood donors from all backgrounds to give blood to meet the daily demand and ensure we have enough for hospital patients. Just one single blood donation can help up to three patients as it can be split into its different components and used in various ways to help patients recover.

Whether you’re giving blood for the first-time or a veteran blood donor, here, you can find everything you need to know about giving blood.

The benefits of giving blood

You are saving lives

Giving blood is one of the most selfless gifts you can give to another person. By giving blood, you are potentially saving lives and helping patients with specific conditions recover and lead a normal life.

For decades, you have helped save many people’s lives by giving blood. Read some of the inspiring stories from people across Wales who have had a second chance at life.

You feel good!

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of giving blood; knowing that you are helping patients who need your generous blood donation. Plus, did we mention there’s a selection of drinks and sugary treats available after you donate to help your body recover?
Find out more about the benefits of giving blood on our why give blood page.

Who can donate blood?

We encourage and welcome most adults to give blood. There are some reasons people can’t donate, but not as many as people think! Anyone who fits in with the criteria below may be able to give blood:
If you are:

  • Between the age of 17 and 66 (for your first donation)
  • Weigh over 7 stone 12 pounds (50kg)
  • Healthy and not subject to medical exclusions

Visit our Can I give blood? page to check if you’re eligible to join our lifesaving team!

Blood donor information

We want the experience of giving blood to be as easy, safe and pleasant for you. Follow the below for more guidance, advice and information on giving blood.

Step 1: Start your lifesaving journey

Find your nearest donation session

Click on the link to check your eligibility and find your nearest donation session.

Can I bring someone with me when I’m donating?

For safety reasons, we’re asking that, where possible, only those giving blood enter the donation session.

We understand bringing children to a clinic in exceptional circumstances may be unavoidable. Due to the variety of environments in which we work and the unpredictable nature of healthcare provision, we cannot create a standardised response for all donors and all children…read more.

I can’t find an appointment near me.

We try our best to visit all areas across Wales and we frequently update the website with new appointments. Please check back in 30 days or click here to enrol and receive an invite when we’re next in your area.

How long does it take to give blood?

From the time you arrive at the centre to the time you leave; the entire process takes approximately 45-60 minutes. The time it takes to give blood is between five and 10 minutes.

What should I eat and drink before giving blood?

We advise that you eat and drink regularly before giving blood to keep your blood sugar levels stable. You should also have a snack and drink water immediately after giving blood to avoid feeling faint or dizzy.

Is it ok to exercise before giving blood?

We suggest avoiding doing anything too strenuous before and after giving blood. Light exercise like walking is fine – just remember to stay hydrated.

What should I wear to give blood?

When giving blood, we need to have easy access to the veins, so we recommend that you wear something comfortable with loose sleeves so it’s easy to roll up your sleeve past your elbow.

How much blood do I give?

We typically take just under a pint of blood (475ml) with additional samples for testing.

Not ready to book an appointment? Enrol here, if you haven't already, to get an invite when we’re next in your area.

Click here

Step 2: What to do on the day you donate

There are a few steps to take before volunteering to give blood.

Register your details

Once you arrive at the donor clinic, we will need to register your details. A member of our team will share with you the Donor Health Check Questionnaire to complete, which will give us more information about your general health, travel and lifestyle, and make sure that you’re fit and healthy to donate blood.

Check your iron levels

We will take a drop of blood from your fingertip to measure your haemoglobin (iron) level and checks it is within the acceptable range.

Give blood

Now it’s time to give blood! Giving blood typically takes between five and ten minutes to complete.

Step 3: Rest up

Once you have finished donating, it’s time for a rest with a drink and a biscuit (or two!), which is everyone’s favourite part, knowing you’ve done something incredible.

How often can you donate blood?

There are different waiting times for females and males who are giving blood. Male donors must wait for a minimum of 12 weeks between each blood donation and can give blood up to four times in a calendar year.

Females must wait for a minimum of 16 full weeks between each blood donation and can give blood up to three times in a calendar year.

Donor before giving blood

Ready to give blood? Book a lifesaving blood donation near you.

Start here

Save lives.

Book your donation today.

Book your donation today.