While Giving Blood

So you’ve decided to give blood? Fantastic!

To learn more about the Blood Donation Process: 

The person who meets all of the donor qualification criteria can donate blood.

The needle, like all of the materials used for collecting blood, is new, sterilized, sealed and used only once.

Here's how your blood is collected:

  • The Héma-Québec nurse helps you get comfortably seated in a reclining chair and helps you relax.
  • The nurse then cleanses your arm with antiseptic for about one minute, to eliminate any risk of infection.
  • A new, sterile needle is inserted in your arm and attached to a sterile plastic collection bag that will hold about 450 ml of your blood.
  • During the collection procedure, the bag is placed on an agitator, to prevent clot formation. This device automatically stops the collection once the bag has been filled with 450 ml of blood (approximately 1/2 liter).
  • When the bag is full, we apply a sterile gauze compress to your arm after withdrawing the needle.
  • The used needle is then thrown away.
  • The donor applies pressure for five minutes to the spot where the needle was inserted, to stop bleeding, and we put a little bandage.
  • A volunteer escorts you to the rest area where you are served juice and a snack.

Whereas the entire blood donation process lasts an average of 60 minutes, the donation itself only lasts about 10 minutes.

It should be noted that the donation of plasma and platelets by apheresis essentially follows the same steps, with only minor differences. For example, donating plasma by apheresis lasts approximately 45 minutes, and the entire process takes between an hour and 15 minutes and an hour and a half. Donating platelets by apheresis takes 2 hours.


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