What to Expect

You know that there are good reasons to give blood, but if you haven't donated before, you are probably wondering what to expect. Although the actual blood draw takes only a few minutes, the entire donation process may take about an hour.

A quick overview of what happens during donation:

Before Donation

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before your donation.
  • The day of your donation, visit CFLexpress to complete your health history interview from your home or office. This is optional, but will help speed up your donation!
  • Read the information sheet about donating blood.
  • Be sure to eat a hearty meal and drink plenty of fluids before you donate.

Health History

  • A Blood Center crew member will welcome you into a screening booth, where you'll present your photo ID and provide basic information about yourself. If you used CFLexpress, present your ticket at this time.
  • In private, answer questions about your past and present health; this information is kept confidential.
  • The screener will return and administer a mini health exam (temperature, blood pressure, heart rate).
  • A blood drop will be taken from your finger to determine your iron level.

Donation

  • A crew member will escort you to a donation bed near other donors.
  • Your arm will be examined and cleaned with a wet scrub.
  • Now your donation begins. Once the needle is in place, it usually takes less than 10 minutes to draw a unit of blood.
  • During your donation, use Applied Muscle Tension, a simple technique that consists of alternately contracting and then relaxing muscle groups in the body. One method is to tighten the muscles of the legs and buttocks for about five seconds, relax for five to 10 seconds and repeat. Another method is to squeeze a ball in the hand, alternating between the right and left hands.
  • Once your donation is complete, the needle will be removed and a bandage will be applied.

After Donation

  • Sit and have a snack and a drink for at least 15 minutes.
  • As long as you're feeling well (not lightheaded or dizzy), go out and enjoy your day. You've earned it! You've helped save a life!
  • Drink additional water for the rest of the day.
  • Keep the bandage in place for a few hours.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity, vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for the remainder of the day. If you begin to feel lightheaded or dizzy, lie down until feeling better.
  • The following day, log on to Digital Donor to view your health check results and points you've earned for the Commit for Life Store!
Blood Center News
July 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

June 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Hematocrit Deferral Period Extended

Having a low hematocrit level is one of the most common reasons individuals are deferred from donating blood.

May 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

2015 Commit for Life Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has selected the winners of its Commit for Life Creative Scholarship. 

Celebrating our Volunteers

On Saturday, April 18, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch recognized our hardworking and dedicated Commit for Life volunteers.

April 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

March 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

2015 Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Gold-level blood drive groups – those that host at least four drives per year – were honored at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s annual “A Celebration of Life” Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2015 at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria. 

February 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Roll the Dice for Life

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Marrow Donor Program hosted its 17th annual Roll the Dice for Life fundraiser Friday, Feb. 6, at The Bell Tower on 34th.

January 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the January edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Patrick McDonald is 26th 100-Gallon Donor

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Patrick McDonald of Deer Park became the 26th blood donor in the Texas Gulf Coast region to give 800 donations, the equivalent of 100 gallons.

December Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the December edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

November Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Workshop Prepares Students to Host Blood Drives

Last week, 180 local high school students took over the halls and conference rooms of Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s headquarters for the 2014 High School Workshop.

October Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the October edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Circle of Life Bike Tour Rides into Houston

The Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour rode into Houston on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, to raise awareness of the need for more lifesaving blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donors in Texas. 

September Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the September edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

August Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the August edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Congratulations to Our Gas Card Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in July’s gas card giveaway and congratulations to our winners. Here are last month’s winners and where they donated.

July Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Congratulations to our Family Vacation Month Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in June’s Family Vacation Month giveaway and congratulations to our winners.

June Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

New License Expands Impact on Rare Donor Patients

Thanks to a recently approved FDA license, patients across the country in need of rare units of red blood cells may breathe a little sigh of relief. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center Gives Back

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center serves more than 170 hospitals and health care institutions in the 26-county Texas Gulf Coast, Brazos Valley and East Texas regions. 

May Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Commit for Life Creative Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has selected the winners of its Commit for Life Creative Scholarship. 

April Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

New Rare Donor Program: One 2 One

You may have recently received a letter in the mail from us thanking you for your donation along with a new green and white donor ID card with the words “One 2 One” on it.

March Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Gold-level Groups Honored at Annual 'Celebration'

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center hosted its annual “A Celebration for Life” luncheon and awards ceremony at Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel on Feb. 28.

February Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Six Days a Week to Help Save Lives!

Starting Feb. 17, most Houston-area Neighborhood Donor Centers will be open six days a week!

Creative Scholarship Deadline is March 1

The deadline for The Blood Center’s Commit for Life Creative Scholarship is rapidly approaching, and eligible high school seniors are encouraged to apply by March 1!

January Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the January edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Additional Donor Centers Now Open Mondays

Beginning Monday, Jan. 6, donors in the Clear LakeThe Woodlands and Westchase areas will have extra opportunities to help save lives! These Neighborhood Donor Centers will now be open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Meet the Executives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s executive team spearheads the organization’s mission of partnering with the community to help save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related service. Meet the dynamic men and women who drive The Blood Center’s continued success.

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Blood Center Resources

Our mission is to partner with the community to save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
1400 La Concha Lane
Houston, TX 77054

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