Donating blood for the first time

There is still no way to manufacture blood artificially. This means that the blood needs of people who are sick or injured must be met with blood from voluntary donations. Donate blood – you may be the one who needs it one day!

How does blood donation work?

People who are about to donate blood for the first time often have questions. How does blood donation work? Am I actually eligible to donate? What does the blood donation process involve? The most important information is collected for you here.

When and where can I donate blood?

There is sure to be a time convenient for you at a venue right in your area. The regional blood transfusion services run blood donation centres in over 37 Swiss localities. In addition, mobile teams working with Samaritan associations hold blood drives regularly in many other towns and villages.

Search for blood donation venues and times now!

Or make an appointment directly in your

Blood donation center

This service is only available in German, French or Italian.

What will happen when you go to donate blood?

A woman fills out the registration form to donate blood.

Register / questionnaire: You will first be asked to complete a questionnaire. It is used to assess your current state of health and determine whether you are eligible to donate. If you are unsure about some questions, leave them unanswered and clarify those points in the personal interview with the member of the medical staff afterwards.

Woman having her blood pressure taken.

Examination: In addition, your blood pressure and pulse will be measured, and your blood haemoglobin level will be checked with a finger prick test. We need to be certain that you do not have anaemia and will not be put at risk by donating blood, so the haemoglobin level check is important. In light of all the findings, the medical staff will determine whether you can donate. If everything is fine, the donation can go ahead. 

A young woman lies smiling on a stretcher and donates blood.

Blood collection: Actually drawing the blood takes about ten minutes. The staff will make sure that you barely feel the needle going in. A total of 450 ml of blood will be drawn: a healthy body can tolerate the loss of that volume well. After donation, the needle will be removed, the insertion point be disinfected and a small plaster or bandage will be applied.

Snack and relaxation break: After your donation, you will be offered a light snack and a beverage. Take advantage of this offer! A 10 to 15-minute rest after the donation will do you good. Drinking plenty of fluids is important. It helps your body replace the blood fluid you donated.

Further questions?

If you have specific questions relating to your blood donation or about appointment scheduling, please contact the regional blood transfusion service for your area.