You can donate blood in two ways: donation of whole blood and donation of platelets.
Whole blood can be donated at all donation locations. Platelets can also be donated with a machine that collects only platelets and returns all other components to the donor's circulation. Platelets can be donated at the Kivihaka Blood Service Centre only upon invitation.
The donation process
1. Take an online test and see if you can donate
If you are a first-time donor, take the Can I donate -test online to find out whether you could be a lifesaver.
You don't need to know your blood group before donating blood.
2. Book an appointment
We are glad to welcome you also without an appointment if there are available time slots.
3. Fill in the health questionnaire beforehand
Fill in the health questionnaire. The questionnaire can be filled in on the day of the donation or one day beforehand. Please note: The questionnaire cannot be filled in paper.
4. Before donation
Eat drink as usual on the day of the donation. Avoid heavy meals just before donating blood.
Please bring a photo ID that includes your Finnish ID code along with you. A blood donor card is not suitable for confirming the donor's identity.
Please note that the coronavirus pandemic has caused some changes to the eligibility of blood donors. Read more here: Coronavirus and blood donation.
5. Donation begins with registration
You can donate at any of our sites. If you come as a group (more than 4 pax), please notify us by calling to the Blood Service centre of your choice.
Please register with your photo ID when coming to donation site. You should therefore always bring your photo ID with you.
6. At the donation site
Have a couple of glasses of water, juice or coffee.
If you haven't filled in the health questionnaire beforehand, fill it in now.
The health questionnaire and nurse's interview are aimed at ensuring the safety of both you and the blood recipient. Replying 'yes' to a particular question does not necessarily prevent blood donation. Therefore, please be accurate and honest in your responses.
Please give us permission to invite you to donate blood if you agree that we can invite you when the blood supply in your blood group is low.
7. We will interview you and measure your blood haemoglobin concentration
Next, you will go through the questionnaire with a nurse. We will also confirm your identity before each donation. The conversation will be conducted between the two of you and all information shared will be confidential.
The nurse will also measure your blood haemoglobin concentration from a small drop of blood drawn from the fingertip. Blood can be donated if the donor's blood haemoglobin concentration is 125–175 g/l for women and 135–195 g/l for men.
The nurse will decide whether you are eligible to donate this time or not. In unclear cases, the Blood Service doctors will be consulted.
8. A bag of blood fills up in approximately ten minutes
If all the requirements for donation are in order, you can lie down on a donation bed. Approximately half a litre of blood will be collected from a vein in the bend of your arm, which will fill up the bag of blood in five to ten minutes. Samples are also collected at the beginning of each donation and studied and tested for blood group and viruses. After the donation, the nurse will dress the puncture location firmly. You should stay lying down for a few minutes after the donation.
Blood donation should not be painful. Please tell the nurse if you feel unwell during the collection, or if the needle causes you discomfort. You may ask the nurse to discontinue the donation process at any time and you do not need to justify your request.
9. Enjoy a snack and take it easy
We offer donors coffee and tea and a light snack so please sit down and enjoy the services in the cafeteria. This will help your body recover from the blood donation.
As long as you remember to drink more fluids than usual, the fluid you have lost during donation is replaced in approximately 24 hours. We recommend that you refrain from physical exercise, having a sauna and anything that causes extra perspiration on the day of donation so that the fluid volume is replaced as effectively as possible. Drinking enough liquid is particularly important in the summer.
Avoid lifting heavy items for at least two hours to keep the vein from bleeding and causing a bruise. Leave the sticking plaster on your arm fot no longer than two hours, the dressing should be in place for longer.
We give iron tablets to all those who give blood frequently, and women below 50 years. Remember to take all the tablets as instructed!
If during the blood donation or at any time afterwards you realise you have forgotten to inform us of anything that might affect the safety of the blood you have donated, please contact the donation location immediately or call the free information number for donors on +358 800 0 5801.
Please call us on our free donor info +358 800 0 5801 if after donating blood:
- you develop a fever within a week of your donation
- you are diagnosed with a serious illness (e.g. cancer) within a month of donating blood
- you find out that you or your sex partner has been infected with a blood-borne disease (e.g. HIV or hepatitis B or C)
10. Follow the blood supply situation and please come back to donate again
We hope that blood donation develops into a pleasant, long-term habit for you. Young women between 18-25 years are recommended to donate blood only max. once a year, all other women max. 2-3 times per year and men max. 3-4 times per year. The minimum interval between blood donations is 91 days for women and 61 days for men.
You can check your minimum interval date with the donation date calculator.
Your blood group determines when your help is needed the most. Please follow the blood supply situation of your blood group from the blood barometer on the homepage and come to your next donation at least when you receive an invitation. Thank you for your help!