Thinking about donation may bring up some painful feelings. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The 2GBTQ+ communities have had a long and painful history with Canadian Blood Services. Find support resources here.

How to Donate

Making an Appointment

To donate plasma:

1. Check your eligibility in advance!

a.
Some factors that could make anyone ineligible to donate can only be confirmed at the donor centre (like blood iron levels). You can check most eligibility requirements beforehand to feel better prepared. Checking your eligibility in advance may help you avoid difficult feelings that could be experienced if you were to find out you were ineligible at the clinic.
A checklist icon in yellow with four checkmarks
b.
You can check if you meet eligibility criteria by looking here, calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283), or using the chat feature on Canadian Blood Services’ website (blood.ca). 
c.
Check our Am I Eligible? pages to learn about donation criteria relevant to members of the LGBT2Q+ communities.
d.
Not all questions in the donor health questionnaire lead to not being able to donate that day. Sometimes the screening staff will ask you follow-up questions to get more information about your situation – but this does not always mean that you will not be able to donate. For example, if you are taking medications, they will want to know which ones, and determine whether it is safe for you to donate. The questions that are asked during screening are to make sure that it is safe for you to donate, as well as being safe for the person receiving the plasma. Call the number above or chat online if you have any questions.

2. Find your local plasma donor centre

There are a number of plasma donation centres across Canada – and given the need for plasma, Canadian Blood Services has announced opening even more in the coming years. However, some local blood donation centres also collect plasma! To find out if plasma donation is available near you:

a) Go to Blood.ca

b) Click on “Book Now” in the top right of the screen

Screenshot of Canadian Blood Services' website blood.ca with an arrow pointing at where to click on "book now" to start the process of booking an appointment.

c) Enter your location and click on search.

d) If you just want to search for plasma (and not whole blood) donation, un-select the “blood” option. Note: plasma donation is only available in some places, so you may not have any results for your search. 

Screenshot of Canadian Blood Services' website, blood.ca, with an arrow pointing at where you can select the option to search for blood donor clinics.

3. Check your local donor centre’s hours

You can find this information once you have found the donor centre near you that you want to book at. 

4. Review this Canadian Blood Services webpage so you know what to expect and how to prepare.

If thinking about donation or if going to Canadian Blood Services is triggering for you but you’re determined to donate, check out the What Can I Expect When Donating Plasma? section below for resources. It will give you a sense of how you can prepare.

5. Book your appointment online

Set up an account at myaccount.blood.ca and book your donation. (You can see what information is needed to set up an account before you create one)

You can also book an appointment using Canadian Blood Services’ GiveBlood app or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

6. Go and donate!

7. Celebrate! Feel great about having helped someone in need.

Are there ideal conditions for me to donate?

Our research team was asked this question a lot in interviews Canadian Blood Services recommends the following before donating. Before donating, ideally, you’ll want to be: 

  • Well-rested
  • Hydrated
  • Feeling well (i.e., in good general health)
  • Not hungry (You are encouraged to eat before your appointment, especially an iron-rich diet. Try to avoid fatty foods though.)

We’ve confirmed with Canadian Blood Services nurses that you can exercise before donating plasma, but you should take it easy for 24 hours after donating to avoid straining your body. If you really want to exercise afterward, stick to lighter forms and avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise.

All this information is listed in the donor pamphlet that all donors are given to read in the centre before donating.