The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Blood Bank is located in the Clinical Center on the NIH campus at
10 Center Drive-MSC 1184
Building 10, Room 1C711
Bethesda, MD 20892-1184
New Hours: Effective 7/31/17
Monday – Thursday
12:00pm – 4:30pm
7:30am – 4:30pm
NIH Donor Center
At Fishers Lane
Rm 1S02, MSC 9415
5625 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
- About Us
- About Donating Blood
- Make an Appointment
- Types of Blood Donations
- Can I Donate If...?
- After Donating Blood
- Iron and Blood Donation
- How to Find Us
NIH BLOOD BANK
What Should I Expect When I Get to the Donor Center?
Detailed information is available regarding public transportation, street maps, parking, and security for your trip to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Blood Bank.
For more information please see our How to Find Us section.
When you arrive, you are greeted by a friendly donor resources specialist. The specialist obtains and verifies information such as your address, date of birth, and contact numbers. Presentation of your NIH Blood Donor Card, if you have been here before, facilitates the registration process. A picture ID must be presented by all first-time blood donors, and by all returning donors who do not have their NIH Blood Donor Card.
You are now ready to proceed to the medical screening area, where you read donor education materials. These materials present important information on behavior that may place individuals at increased risk for exposure to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus. Because this virus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, donor education materials asks those "at risk" for exposure to this virus not to donate blood.
In the privacy of the screening area, you are joined by an interviewer, who obtains your medical history and checks your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. A small blood sample is obtained by pricking your finger to be sure your iron level is adequate. Donors may be deferred from donating blood temporarily for reasons such as low iron levels, or permanently for reasons such as a history of hepatitis. To protect both the donor's privacy and the blood supply, all information obtained during the screening process is considered confidential.
You will relax in the donor chair while the phlebotomist cleans your arm with special antiseptic solutions. As the needle is inserted into your vein, you will feel a brief sting. Once the needle is in place, you will recline comfortably while gently squeezing a soft ball. The pint-sized blood donation is completed in about 6-10 minutes.
The sterile collection kits (needles, tubing, bags) used for blood component donations are completely disposable and are discarded after each donation. Therefore, donating a pint of blood never places the donor at risk for contracting diseases such as hepatitis or AIDS.
Every good deed has its reward! After completing your donation, you'll have an opportunity to relax and enjoy a light snack plus juice and other beverages.
Frequency of Donation
Just as blood volume varies from person to person, individuals differ in the frequency with which they feel comfortable donating. The maximum frequency allowable is every 56 days. A more general guideline recommends no more than five whole-blood donations per year for men and no more than four donations per year for women. Our recruiters are available to help you decide upon a schedule that is right for you. Thousands of healthy men and women remain active blood donors throughout their adult lives. In fact, some donors have donated more than 100 times at the NIH Blood Bank.
If you are at least 17 years old, in good health, and interested in becoming a blood donor, please contact the NIH Blood Bank at (301) 496-1048.
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This page last updated on 07/28/2017