Many people regularly need blood transfusions to help treat their medical conditions. Blood is also needed for emergencies and to treat cancer. In Australia, this blood supply relies on generous donations from people like you.
Why should I donate blood?
Australia relies on the generosity of donors who volunteer their time and blood.
Healthy adults are encouraged to donate blood to help save lives. This is in line with World Health Organization guidelines for ensuring a safe blood supply.
All types of people need blood donations, which means that all types of blood are needed.
Depending on your blood type, you may be able to donate various components of your blood or your whole blood.
Where to donate blood
Blood donor requirements
Most healthy adults (aged 16-70) are able to give blood in Australia. However, there are some things that might affect your eligibility to be a blood donor. This includes which medications you take, if you have any infectious diseases and where you have recently travelled.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has a list of frequently asked questions that will help you work out whether or not you can donate blood.
The screening process for all donated blood in Australia is strict to ensure the safety of patients who receive the blood.
The blood donation process
The day before you donate, you need to prepare by drinking plenty of fluids and eating something salty. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service lists what you need to do before and after you donate blood.
When you are at the centre, trained staff will double-check that you are able to donate, and will go over the blood donation process with you in detail. They’ll make sure you feel comfortable and look after you during the process. They’ll also provide you with refreshments after you’ve donated.
Donating blood in Australia is extremely safe and most people feel absolutely fine afterwards. However, you might occasionally feel light-headed or dizzy. If you feel unwell afterwards, it’s important to tell staff at the time. Otherwise contact the Australian Red Cross on 13 14 95 for advice.
Last reviewed: March 2016