Donating Blood

Approximately 470ml of blood is donated each time

A donor usually gives just under half a litre of blood per donation.

Lost fluid is quickly made up in the body – plasma in 12-18 hours, cells in a few weeks.

How long does a blood donate take approximately 45 minutes

We suggest you allow around 45 minutes for the how donation process this includes:

  • When you arrive you to reception desk.
  • Complete the Donor Registration form and Health Questionnaire.
  • A Health Check conducted by member of nursing staff.
  • Proceed to the waiting area
  • You are called when it is your time to donate.
  • The actual donation time lasts less than 10 minutes.
  • Afterwards you rest for a short period to ensure everything is okay. Donors are given refreshments – cold drink and biscuits.
Donation location options - NIBTS HQ, College Street, Our Bloodmobile and any session across Northern Ireland.

Whole blood can be donated at any of our sessions held across Northern Ireland.

This includes:

  • Our Headquarters building in the grounds of the Belfast City Hospital.
  • Our College Street Donation Suite, located in Belfast City Centre.
  • The Bloodmobile our mobile Donation Suite.
  • Any of our regular donation venues update to date details of which can be found on our Where to donate page.
How often can I donate blood? Women every 6 weeks, Men every 4 weeks

Female blood donors can give blood every 16 weeks (every 4 months or 3 times in a 12 month period).

Male blood donors can now give blood every 12 weeks (every 3 months or 4 times in a 12 month period).

NIBTS will however continue to send out invitations to both male and female blood donors approximately every 16 weeks.

The difference in donation frequency relates specifically to lower iron levels in women. Whilst a donor's blood volume is restored within a few hours, it can take eight weeks to restore the iron lost after donating. Replacing this iron through diet alone can take a long time, especially with other concurrent losses, for example, menstruation in women.