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9 Blood Donation FAQs Answered

Health • by Ryno Ellis • 05 June 2018
Donate blood
You’ve seen others donating blood before but you’re still on the fence about doing it yourself. To put you at ease, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions about blood donation.

According to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), less than 1% of South Africans donate blood regularly. This amount isn’t nearly enough to meet demands and therefore it’s crucial for more people to volunteer to donate this precious life source.

FAQs about donating blood.

1. Why should I donate?

Blood provides life and just one donation could potentially save the lives of up to three people. After donating and when your blood has been tested and deemed safe to use, it is separated into plasma, red blood cells and platelets.

2. Where will my blood be used?

Blood donations are given to:

3. How frequently can I donate blood?

After donating blood, you donor needs to wait 56 days to be able to donate again.

4. Does it hurt while I’m donating blood?

Not at all. The finger prick to test your blood and when the nurse inserts the needle into your arm may cause some discomfort, but the rest of the process is painless.

5. How long does the transfusion process take?

From start to finish the process could take between 20 to 30 minutes.

6. How will I feel after donating blood?

A blood donor might feel a little faint after donating, but if you eat a biscuit or drink a sweetened drink afterwards, you’ll feel fine soon after.

7. How much blood is taken?

One unit of blood which is approximately 475ml will be taken.

8. Who can donate?

You need to be:

9. Where do I donate?

People who live in the Western Cape can visit the Western Province Blood Transfusion (WP Blood Transfusion) website at to find out where they can donate.

People living in the rest of South Africa can visit SANBS website at to find out where to donate.

If you have any further questions you’d like answered, visit WP Blood Transfusion’s website.

Download our infographic to learn more about the donation process:

Infographic: How to save a life


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