Blood donation


Blood donation is a voluntary procedure where a donor has blood drawn so it can be given to someone else who needs a blood transfusion.

According to the American Red Cross:

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately three pints.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
  • Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do each year.

There are also situations where a donor may give blood for their own use at a later date (typically due to surgery) or for a specific medical condition.

Donor eligibility

Northwell Health has criteria for blood donation, listed below. Please note that all donors must be in good health and not be taking any medication on the medication deferral list. Donors should eat a light meal before donation and bring a photo ID.

Blood donation criteria includes:

  • Age: Donors must be age 17 (with proof of age) through 75. Donors over age 75 must have a note from their physician indicating that it is safe to donate blood. (The note must be dated within two weeks of the donation date.)
  • Weight: Donor must weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Last Donation: Must have been at least 56 days ago
  • Travel
    • Donors will be deferred if they have spent up to three months or more in the United Kingdom from 1980 through 1996.
    • Donors will be deferred if they have received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom from 1980 to present.
    • Donors will be deferred if the spent five years or more in Europe from 1980 to the present.
    • Donors will be deferred if they traveled to a country where malaria is endemic (one year deferral if the donor visited; three year deferral if the donor was a resident).
  • Donors must be in general good health (including not having a fever or any active infections)
  • Donors must not be taking any medication on the medication deferral list.

Special requests for donation

These are donors that donate blood to be used for a specific patient who is scheduled for surgery or for a transfusion. The donation will be held for the intended recipient if it is compatible and if the donor meets all eligibility requirements. (Northwell Health does not prescreen donors for blood type.)

Autologous donors

These are donors who are donating for their own use at a later date (usually a scheduled surgery).

Therapeutic phlebotomy

These are patients who have been referred to a blood donor center for donation because of a specific medical diagnosis.

(212) 434-2500

Call to to schedule an appointment.

Representatives are available from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. If this is an emergency dial 911.