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FAQs about Blood Donation

Why donate blood?

Blood is the part of life that is given to those who need it by those who have the resource to satisfy the need. The love of fellow human and a desire to share something of oneself is what singles out a blood donor from the others. Emergencies occur every minute. For each patient requiring blood, it is an emergency and the patients could have set back if blood is not available.

Your blood donation may be even more special than you realize A single donation from you can help one or more patients. This is possible because whole blood is made up of several useful components. These components perform special functions in your body and in the body of patients who receive your blood.

Various blood components are Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Platelets, Plasma and selected Plasma Proteins. Each of these components can be separated from your donated volume of blood and transfused into a specific patient requiring that particular component. Thus, many can benefit from one unit of blood.

Who can donate blood?

You can donate blood if you are aged 16-65 years, in good health, and weigh over 50 kg. However you can donate blood after age 65 years if you are certified medically fit.
You can safely donate blood every 12 weeks.

Where can I donate blood?

Generally you don't need an appointment to give blood. Our six regional blood donor centres in Nairobi, Embu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Eldoret will be delighted to receive you. Our mobile units visit many towns and schools throughout Kenya on a regular basis, so if you can't make it to us, we'll come to you. Click here to see the address and contact information for the blood donation site nearest you.

When shouldn't you donate blood?

  • If you are feeling unwell or have a cold or flu on the day of the session
  • If you have taken antibiotics during the week before you attended the session
  • If you've had a body piercing or injected yourself with a non-prescribed drug within the last year
  • If you've had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the last one year
  • If you are on regular medication or awaiting medical test results

Who needs blood?

Under normal circumstances, every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. Blood transfusions are used for trauma victims - due to accidents and burns - heart surgery, organ transplants, women with complications during childbirth, newborns and premature babies, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia.  

Tips on blood donating

  • Please have a good meal at least 3 hours before donating blood.
  • Please accept the snacks offered after the donation. It is recommended to have a good meal later.
  • Please avoid smoking on the day before donating. One can smoke 3 hours after donation.
  • One is not eligible to donate blood if you have consumed alcohol 48 hours before donation.

Misconceptions about Donating Blood

  • will not feel drained or tired if you continue to drink fluids and have a good meal.
  • You can resume your normal activities after donating blood, though you are asked to refrain from exercise or heavy weight lifting for twelve hours after donation.
  • Donating blood will not leave you low of blood; in fact you will still have surplus blood after the donation.
  • While donating blood you will not feel any pain.
  • You will not faint or feel uncomfortable after donating blood. This is a common misconception.
  • You will not get AIDS if you donate blood.
  • Patients are just like donors - most of them have common blood types. Because your blood type is common, the demand for that type is greater than for rare types. So, even if your blood type is common there is still a requirement.