Search Menu

How blood is donated

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.

 

1. Before coming to donate
2. Donation begins with registration
3. Check your details and fill in the health questionnaire
4. We will interview you and measure your blood haemoglobin concentration
5. A bag of blood fills up in approximately ten minutes
6. Enjoy a snack and take it easy
7. Keep in touch after the donation
8. Follow the blood supply situation and please come back to donate again

1. Before coming to donate

Take the Can I donate test online and check the opening hours of the blood collection location. Drink water or juice and eat something to make you feel better. However, you should avoid heavy meals immediately before donation. There will be something to drink and a small snack on offer at the donation location.

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.

2. Donation begins with registration

Please register at the reception; we will confirm your identity before each donation. You should therefore always bring your photo ID with you.

On the first donation visit we will save your name, personal ID code, address, telephone number, email address and donor number in the Blood Donor Registry.

3. Check your details and fill in the health questionnaire

Have a cup of coffee or a glass of juice. Check that the personal and contact details printed at the beginning of the  health questionnaire are up to date. Please also 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.

Take your time to fill in the health questionnaire. 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.

4. We will interview you and measure your blood haemoglobin concentration

Next, you will go through the questionnaire with a nurse. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

Leave the dressing or bandaid ​on your arm in place and avoid lifting heavy items for at least two hours to keep the vein from bleeding and causing a bruise.

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.

7. Please call us 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)


8. 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. The minimum interval between blood donations is 91 days for women and 61 days for men. 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!