FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How long does it take to donate blood?

The process of donating blood usually takes about 35 minutes from start to finish, however the act of donating blood usually takes about 5 to 8 minutes on average.

You’re asking me a lot of personal information, is it confidential?

Absolutely. Your complete honesty in answering all questions asked is very important and all information you provide is completely confidential.

Will it hurt?

You may feel a slight pinch when the phlebotomist inserts the needle but rest assured, our staff does everything possible to make sure that the donation process is an easy and enjoyable process for all of our donors.

Are there any risks to me?

While uncommon, there are risks of donating. Some of these risks and/or problems associated with donating include: bruising (hematoma), pain or nerve damage at the site, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea and/or vomiting. Your phlebotomist will go over all of this with prior to donating, and will give you after care instructions to help you avoid any reactions. If at any point you have an questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

I take prescribed medications regularly, does than mean I can’t donate?

Not necessarily. While there are some medications that will make you ineligible to donate, most are not an issue. The best way to verify if your medication will or will not defer you is to call us prior to donating or ask a nurse when you come in to donate.

I just got over a cold/the flu, can I still donate?

We ask that you be in good in general health (feeling well) when you donate, meaning that you are symptom free and are not on any antibiotics. Take the time to fully recover from your cold/the flu before you come back to donate, we’ll be happy to see you regardless of when you come back!

What area will my donation help?

The Community Blood Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York is the predominant supplier of blood to hospitals in Erie, Elk, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Tioga, Warren and Venango counties, as well as to Titusville Area Hospital. They are the preferred supplier to many hospitals in Allegany and Chautauqua counties in Western New York. We rely on donors in these areas to support their local blood supply.

Is there a minimum number of donations needed?

We need about 700 donors each & every week in order to keep up with usage by our partner hospitals.

How many lives does one unit of blood save?

One unit of blood can impact the lives of three people.

What is the Donor Portal?

The donor portal is a new feature that gives our donors access to information such as their donation history, eligibility date and blood type. It also allows donors to schedule appointments, redeem their donation points on our donor point store, and control their communication preferences. To get started simply click the link on the homepage and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have questions or need help, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you!


If you have any questions about donating blood or what we do at the Community Blood Bank, please call us at (814) 456-4206 or Toll Free  (877) 842-0631.