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UCLA Blood and Platelet Center

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Frequently Asked Questions

Donate at the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center

Heroes come in all types.
Donate blood today.

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions



Is it safe to donate blood?
How long does it take?
How often can I donate?
What kind of blood will I be donating?
Do I need to know my blood type to donate?
Can anyone donate?
What about parking?
Can I donate if I'm over 65?
Does the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center run Blood Drives in the community?
What are your hours?


Is it safe to donate blood?

Completely safe! You run absolutely no risk of getting AIDS or any other contagious disease by donating blood. Our equipment is brand new, sterile, and disposable.


How long does it take?

From start to finish, we usually like to tell people donating whole blood to set aside one hour. However, donors who donate starting August 5th should anticipate that the entire donation process will take about 45 minutes longer than usual due to computer software upgrade. This includes paperwork, talking to an historian, having the blood drawn and then relaxing in our canteen while eating a cookie and drinking some juice. For platelet donations it takes a little longer. We ask our donors to leave from one and a half hours to two and a half hours when donating platelets.


How often can I donate?

Every 56 days (or 2 months), for whole blood donations which comes out to 6 times a year. For platelets it's more frequent. You can donate up to 24 times a year.


What kind of blood will I be donating?

That's completely up to you. Most people donate whole blood, which is also known as red blood. Then there are people who donate platelets. Platelets are the part of the blood that aids in clotting. In a process called Platelet Apheresis, whole blood is drawn and then separated into its component parts (whole blood, platelets, plasma). The needed component part is then made available to the patient. Patients who have cancer, leukemia, transplants and blood disorders need platelets. And since UCLA is a Level 1 trauma center, many patients brought here also require platelets to stop their bleeding.


Do I need to know my blood type to donate?

No, you do not need to know your blood type prior to donating.


Can anyone donate?

We wish that were the case, but it isn't. In order to guarantee a safe blood supply to the population, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires us to adhere to specific eligibility requirements. To review them, please click on the Donor Self-Screening Form on our website at www.gotblood.ucla.edu. If you have questions, call us at 310/825-0888 #2 or email them to us at gotblood@ucla.edu.


What about parking?

GAYLEY - If you need to obtain a parking permit, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. You may park temporarily behind the donor center to obtain parking permit and instructions when you check-in on the second floor. ACKERMAN - If you need to obtain a parking permit, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. To purchase a parking permit, stop at any parking kiosk and pay the daily current parking rate for lot 8 (lot 4 is temporarily out of service). Lot 8 is located on the south-west corner of Westwood Plaza and Strathmore Pl. Lot 4 is located underground at the intersection of Sunset and Westwood Plaza on the north side of campus. Permit must be displayed properly in vehicle. When you arrive at the donor center, please ask for a parking voucher. To receive a full refund, take parking voucher and permit back to the parking kiosk. Refunds will be made in cash if payment was made accordingly. If the permit was paid for by Debit/Credit Card, you need to submit a form provided by Parking Services and a check will be issued and mailed to you.


Can I donate if I'm over 65?

Yes. There's not an upper age cut off for donating blood, but there is a lower limit. You need to be 17 years old. Either way, we'll need you to review the donor self-screening form that you can find on our website.


Does the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center run Blood Drives in the community?

All the time. Community Blood Drives are a big part of what we do. And if you know of a place that would like to have one, we'd love to hear about it. Give us a call at 310-794-7044 or email us at gotblood@ucla.edu.


What are your hours?

Follow this link for our: Hours of Collection


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