New Blood Donors

You have a unique power running through your veins—the power to save lives, right here in our community. Will you help?

Why Donate Blood?

Hands holding a blood drop sculpture
  • You can save a life close to home. Hoxworth serves more than 30 hospitals in the Tri-State, so your donation could change the life of someone in your community.
  • One donation can save up to three lives. By separating blood into components, you can help multiple people with your red cells, platelets, and plasma.
  • Pay it forward. Every five minutes, someone in the Tri-State area needs blood. You never know when you, a family member, a neighbor, or friend will need an emergency blood transfusion.
  • An hour of your time could give someone a lifetime. A whole blood donation usually takes less than an hour —and only 10 minutes of that is spent in the donation chair!
  • Earn rewards through Hoxworth's Premier Donor Club. Donors can earn rewards based on their specific donation platform of whole blood, red cells, platelets and plasma. Whole blood and red cell donors can accumulate an award value of up to $60 to be redeemed for e-gift cards. Platelet and plasma donors can accumulate an award value of up to a value of $425 per calendar year. 

Why The Need?

  • Patients rely on you. Every day, 400 blood donors and 50 platelet donors are needed to help save lives in our local community.
  • There is no artificial substitute for blood. Blood can’t be manufactured in a lab—it has to come from willing volunteer donors like you.
  • It’s not just whole blood! Hoxworth has an urgent need for platelet donors. Platelets are a component of blood essential for clotting, and they are especially important for cancer patients, transplant recipients and trauma victims. Platelets only have a shelf life of five days, so the need is constant.
  • Every blood type has a unique superpower. Depending on your blood type, you may be asked to donate a specific blood product (like red cells, plasma, or platelets) to make your donation as effective as possible.

What Can I Expect During My Donation?

Registration & Health History

Staged scenes at the Hoxworth Blood Center

When you come to donate at a Hoxworth Neighborhood Donor Center or mobile blood drive, you will first register and sign in with one of our staff members.  All donors must have a photo ID and current address to register.  

After signing in, you'll receive a tablet to fill out your donor questionnaire. We want to make sure that donating is safe both for you and for any patient that might receive your blood, so we'll ask questions about medications, recent travel, and health history. You will also receive some informational materials to review prior to moving on to your screening. Have questions? One of our staff members will be happy to help.

Screening & Mini-Physical

Staged scenes at the Hoxworth Blood Center

Hoxworth donor Trey P.

After completing your donor questionnare, you'll meet with a Hoxworth employee in one of our private screening booths go over your questionnaire responses, address any health or travel concerns, and complete your mini-physical. We will test your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and hematocrit (iron levels) to make sure you're healthy enough to donate. Don't worry if your iron is too low or your pulse is too fast to donate this time--you can always try again in a few weeks! 


Staged scenes at the Hoxworth Blood Center

Corin, Hoxworth Donor

Congrats! You've passed your mini-physical and you're ready to donate.  You'll be seated in one of our donor chairs and a Hoxworth team member will be dedicated to ensuring a smooth, positive donation experience. If you're feeling nervous, please let us know and we'll do our best to make you feel calm and comfortable.

That staff member will sterilize the skin near the crook of your elbow, locate a vein, and help you relax before starting the donation process. (And don't worry, it won't hurt! Most of our donors report feeling a small pinch, and that’s it.)  Most whole blood donations take less than 10 minutes. Once you've finished donating, we'll give you a minute to relax in the chair as we bandage your arm and give you your post-donation care instructions.

Relax & Snack

Staged scenes at the Hoxworth Blood Center

Hoxworth donors (from left to right): Logan, Corin, Ayana, and Trey

The best part of donating blood? Knowing that you've saved a life--but the snacks are a close second. After your donation, we recommend that you stick around for 10 minutes to drink some juice or soda, eat some snacks, and take a little time to recharge. All of our Neighborhood Donor Centers feature cookie ovens, so be sure to snag a fresh-baked cookie!  Before you leave, make sure to stop by our registration area to schedule your next lifesaving donation.

Tips for Your Donation

  • Don’t skip breakfast! Before donating, be sure to eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids. Eating snacks after your donation is also highly encouraged.
  • Come prepared. Bring a photo ID, a list of current medications, and recent travel history to make your registration smooth and swift.
Young male donor giving whole blood at a high school blood drive

Debunking Myths & Fears

Nervous or unsure about donating blood? There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about blood donation out there, so we’re sharing a few facts about the process to make people a little less anxious: 

FEAR: I'm afraid that donating blood hurts.

Honestly, it’s not that bad—we mean it!   Most of our donors report feeling a slight pinch when the needle goes in, and that’s it. 

If you’re nervous about the momentary discomfort, let your Hoxworth phlebotomist know, and we’ll help you through it! 

MYTH: I can’t donate if I have a tattoo.

Not the case. If you got your tattoo in a sterile manner in a licensed tattoo shop in most states, including Ohio or Kentucky, you can donate as soon as it’s healed. 

FEAR: I’m afraid I’ll pass out. 

Less than 10% of first-time donors have adverse reactions during or after their donation—and for those that do, dizziness and mild faintness are the most common reactions.

Preparation is key! Make sure you eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids before your donation.

MYTH: I take medication, so I can’t donate.

Most common medications like birth control pills, insulin, allergy medications, anti-depressants, and ibuprofen or Tylenol won’t affect your ability to donate! 

MYTH: I don’t need to donate—someone else will be able to do it.

About 30% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, and less than 10% of eligible people actually donate. Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood—and because there is no artificial substitute for blood, we need donors like you to roll up a sleeve.