About the Wellness and Advanced Wellness Check

Wellness Check

All potential donors will have the following tests performed prior to donation to determine their eligibility:

Temperature – An increased body temperature, or fever, from the "normal" 98.6°F is often a good clinical indication of possible infection. In the early stages of an infection, you may have an elevated body temperature in the absence of any other symptoms.

Blood pressure – High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most common heart disease risk factor. One in four adults has systolic blood pressure (the upper number) over 140, and/or diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) over 90, which is the definition of hypertension. Early detection and taking steps to control your blood pressure can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Pulse – The National Stroke Association reports that stroke is the third leading cause of death in America. One way to help prevent stroke is by taking your pulse to determine if your heartbeat is regular or very irregular. A very irregular pulse rate could increase your risk for stroke if it is associated with atrial fibrillation.

Hemoglobin – Hemoglobin is a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body tissues where it picks up carbon dioxide (a cellular waste product) and transports it to the lungs for elimination. A deficiency of hemoglobin caused by a lack of iron can lead to anemia and an inadequate delivery of oxygen to the tissues.

All eligible donors who successfully donate have the following tests performed on their blood:

ABO/Rh – An individual's blood type is important information should the donor require a blood transfusion in the future. It is also required information for admission into the armed forces, some training programs (police and fire department) and prior to employment in certain fields.

Advanced Wellness Check

The Advanced Wellness Check is a Commit for Life benefit that is complimentary once per year for Gold level members. Gold members may purchase additional Advanced Wellness Checks by using their store points. Other members also may purchase using their points.

The lipid profile (fasting cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) is a group of tests that are often ordered together to determine risk of coronary heart disease. The tests that make up the profile have been shown to be good indicators of whether someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blockage of blood vessels.

LDL cholesterol level – Your LDL cholesterol level greatly affects your risk of heart attack and of stroke. The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk. Your LDL cholesterol will fall into one of these categories:

Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal/Above Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very High

HDL cholesterol level – Low HDL cholesterol puts you at high risk for heart disease. In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL. In the average woman, they range from 50 to 60 mg/dL. HDL cholesterol that’s less than 40 mg/dL is low.

Triglyceride Level – Your triglyceride level will fall into one of these categories:

Less than 150 mg/dL Normal
150 to 199 mg/dL Borderline-high
200 to 499 mg/dL High
500 mg/dL or higher Very high

Many people with high triglycerides have underlying diseases or genetic disorders.

To obtain accurate lipid-profile results, the blood sample should be taken when the individual has been fasting (no food or drink for eight hours). Therefore, you will not be able to have a sample drawn for this testing at the same time you donate blood. Samples will be drawn at one of our fixed-site facilities. To make arrangements for your annual Advanced Wellness Check, please call (713) 791-6608 or 1(800) 791-1666.

Blood Center News
Every day, someone’s life is being saved.

By Tammie Riley 

I learned something the other day. Every day, someone’s life is being saved. I know that seems obvious, but let that sink in. What may be a normal Thursday for most could be something completely different for someone else. And that’s exactly what happened to donor Gary Gilson. Aug. 16 was one of the most important moments in Gary’s life. Not only did he save lives that day, but someone else saved the life of his loved one, as well.

Hospital tour highlights need

A 3-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed in the middle of the room with monitors attached to her bare chest. She’s awake, but she doesn’t lift her head as we walk into the room. Still, she follows us with her eyes. The only sound we hear from her is a small cough while a nurse comes in to check her stats.


The Blood Center teams up with Sickle Cell Association of Houston

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center partnered with the Sickle Cell Association of Houston to host a blood drive Sept. 15 in recognition of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.

Blood transfusion is one treatment used to combat complications from sickle cell disease, a form of anemia most likely to affect people of African descent. Prince and her now 27-year-old daughter, Quannecia McCruse, founded the Sickle Cell Association of Houston years ago to educate and provide resources to the community.


Drive and save lives

Penny, a local teacher with some free time over the summer, has helped us kick off our new Volunteer Driver program. Are you interested in joining us in our mission to save lives? Call us at (713) 791-6262 or email volunteering@giveblood.org.

Overcoming fear: Donating blood for the first time

I’m a scaredy-cat. I readily admit it. I hate needles. That’s always been my excuse for why I don’t volunteer for anything with a needle. Flu shot? No way. Vaccines? I still remember the sheer terror I felt from them growing up. 

We are always #HoustonStrong

We never know when the next tragedy will strike, but we have to be ready when it does come. 

Meet Eden

CYPRESS – There is nothing more American than baseball and saving lives. Everyone who participates in The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Home Run for Life competition will get a chance at both through June 30.


SuperMax is the hero Houston needs!

Max was born with a genetic disorder (neurofibromatosis type 1) that can cause tumors to grow on his nerve endings, and SuperMax has been his alter ego ever since. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center mourns Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush helped save lives in our community, and we celebrate her lifetime of accomplishments. The former First Lady set the bar high in her commitment to helping others.


Dr. Charles Drew: A Blood Banking Pioneer

Here at The Blood Center, we pride ourselves on being an organization of diversity. We work together to save and sustain lives, and we each bring a unique perspective when it comes to fulfilling our mission.

Tying the knot and saving lives

Hurricane Harvey destroyed homes, cars and many other things, but one thing it couldn’t destroy is the compassion for others in newlywed couple Gilbert and Stefanie Cruz. Gilbert and Stefanie were set to get married just a few days after Harvey passed, but due the storm’s aftermath they had to alter all of their plans on a moment’s notice.


Blood on ambulances helps EMS agencies save more lives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has partnered with two local agencies providing emergency medical services to help save more lives when time is of the essence, now administering whole blood to patients on the ground.

Donor coaches hit the road sporting new look, features

In the last two years, five of The Blood Center's donor coaches have been refurbished. Find out why this is such an important process.

Circle of Life Bike Tour celebrates life

The Lone Star Circle of Life bike tour visits Texas cities to raise awareness of the need for blood, marrow, organ and tissue donations to honor those impacted by these donation types. This year’s eight-day, 600-mile tour included stops in Houston and College Station.

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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