Drawing of red blood cells on dark maroon background

Donating blood can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips that can help you overcome the top reasons people avoid donating blood:

#1 If you have a fear of needles…

If you have a fear of needles, you’re not alone. Many people avoid donating blood for this reason. However, if you’re willing to spend a few minutes facing your fears, you may find that the satisfaction of making a donation is well worth it. In fact, a single blood donation can save as many as 3 lives. If you’re still concerned about donating blood because of your fear of needles, consider bringing a friend with you for support or distract yourself with music during the donation process. It’s also a good idea to hydrate before your appointment to make the process as quick and easy as possible. The average donation time is only 8-10 minutes. 

#2 If you’re concerned about passing out…

Most donors feel fine after they’ve completed the donation process. Nevertheless, if you do feel faint or fatigued, be sure to alert the donation staff and remain seated until you feel better. All campus blood drives offer free snacks and water to help you recuperate. The uneasy feeling should go away in a matter of minutes!

#3 If you’re not sure you’ll qualify…

There are many reasons why you could be deferred from giving blood. Some restrictions are permanent, while many others are temporary. The criteria for making a donation are constantly changing, which means that even if you’ve been denied in the past, you may be eligible now! Check out Red Cross blood services for a full list of donation criteria to see if you’re eligible.

The truth is, donating blood is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Here are a few more reasons to donate:

All blood types are accepted and needed
It’s true: some blood types are more versatile than others. It’s also true that all blood donations are valuable and can be life-saving for those in need. Blood centers experience shortages of all blood types, especially during winter months, so it’s important that you donate regardless of your blood type. Watch how different blood types are used from donations.

Blood donations make a real impact
Nearly 40% of the US population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 5% of those who are eligible actually do. Having a small and infrequent number of donors can often lead to shortages, especially in rural areas. Donating blood during CU Boulder’s upcoming blood drives could help save a life.

Upcoming blood drives

Donate blood, save a life. CU Boulder is hosting a number of blood drives in February. They are open to the community, including staff, faculty and students. Find one that works for you.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 4 | 9 am – 2:30 pm | Rec Center, Ice Rink Overlook (main floor)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 5 | 9 am – 2:30 pm | Rec Center, Ice Rink Overlook (main floor)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 5 | 9:30 am – 1 pm | East Campus, Marine Street (blood mobile)
  • Thursday, Feb. 6 | 9 am – 2:30 pm | Rec Center, Ice Rink Overlook (main floor)

All donors will receive a winter hat and two free tickets to the CU Women’s Basketball game on Friday, Feb. 21 against Arizona State at 7 pm.

Drop-ins are welcome! To schedule an appointment, please contact Lauren Thompson at lauren.c.thompson@colorado.edu or at 720-333-0675.

The CU Boulder blood drives are brought to you by Recreation Services, Staff Council and Vitalant.