Before Giving Blood

So you’ve decided to give blood ? Fantastic !

To learn more about the Blood Donation Process : 

The evaluation of a potential donor’s eligibility to give blood, part of Héma-Québec’s responsibility to ensure the safety of its products, is based on a health questionnaire, checking the donor’s vital signs and verifying the hemoglobin level of all individuals who arrive at a blood drive or a GLOBULE Blood Donor Centre.

Blood donor file: registration

When a blood donor arrives at a blood drive or one of the GLOBULE Blood Donor Centres, he or she must present one piece of ID.

The donor is then registered and a blood donor file is created. The blood donor file accompanies the donor from registration through the selection process to the donation itself. We record all pertinent donor information as well as the information required to be able to track the blood donation from start to finish, from the analysis to future communication with the donor.

All information in the blood donor file is confidential and is used only to select donors and ensure the safety of the blood. Thanks to this form, we have a written document and a computerized file for each donation.

 

The blood donor file contains several elements:

  • Donor information
    • Name, address, language preference
    • Number of previous donations and preferred clinics
    • Test results: hemoglobin, blood pressure and temperature
    • Answers to questions about health and high-risk activities for the safety of the blood
    • Donor's signature, confirming that all questions have been truthfully answered and giving informed consent regarding the use of the donated blood
  • Information from personnel
    • Information on employees who dealt with the donor
    • Comments of employee in charge of donor selection
    • Information as to how the unit of blood will be processed
    • Relevant details about the venipuncture and the duration of the blood collection
    • Exclusion code, if applicable
  • Label
    • Label for confidential exclusion request
    • Unit number and other information on labelling

After registration, the donor must fill out a Record of Donation. The questionnaire is easy to complete : just answer questions by checking off the answers.

After filling out the first part of the questionnaire, the donor proceeds to the waiting room where he or she will study the information in his file.

Interview with the nurse

After registering and answering the first part of the health questionnaire, the donor must meet with a Héma-Québec nurse. The goal of this interview is to determine whether the donor’s state of health is satisfactory for giving blood.

The nurse reviews the donor’s answers with the donor in a private cubicle and completes the questionnaire by asking an additional series of questions (part two of the questionnaire). The answers are confidential.

During this part of the evaluation, the nurse examines the donor’s arms and takes the donor’s blood pressure, pulse and temperature. The nurse then takes a few drops of blood from the end of the donor’s finger by pricking it with a new, sterile needle that is then discarded. The purpose of this procedure is to check the hemoglobin level of the donor’s blood. If any of these measurements does not meet the qualification criteria, the person cannot donate blood.

The Héma-Québec nurse decides if the person’s state of health is satisfactory for giving blood. If this is not the case, the nurse explains the situation and the reason why the individual has been excluded.

The donor’s signature attests to the fact that all of the answers to the Héma-Québec questionnaire are true to the best of the donor’s knowledge.

Self-exclusion

Given the personal nature of the questions in the selection procedure, some donors may feel ill at ease about giving truthful answers. In the final step, donors have a last opportunity to indicate, in total confidentiality, that their blood should not be used.

The Héma-Québec nurse gives the donor two bar-code stickers. One says "Yes, use my blood." and the other "No, do not use my blood.".

The nurse then leaves the room so that the donor can affix the applicable sticker in the appropriate place in the blood donor file.

No one will know which sticker was chosen, not even the nurse in charge of selection. Only later, the processing staff will "read" the sticker with a bar-code scanner before the blood is processed.

If the donor affixed the "Yes, use my blood." sticker, the blood will be processed. If the "No, do not use my blood." sticker was affixed, our staff will dispose of the blood.

QUESTIONS ?

For any question concerning blood donation, please contact our Donor Customer Service at 1 800 847-2525.