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Blood Donation

We’ve made giving from the heart our mission for the past 45 years.

Why donate blood? Your gift makes a difference in the lives of cancer and transplant patients, trauma victims, newborns and moms, COVID-19 patients and others in hospitals and clinics in your community. Give hope to South Texas today.

Donor Portal

Make an appointment, redeem points, see test results and more!

Donor Doc Advance

Save time at your next appointment – fill out your health history online!

Blood Drive Coordinator Portal

Find the tools you need to make your next blood drive a success.

Are you eligible to give blood?

Before you can donate and save a life, we need to check if you’re able to give blood based on eligibility criteria from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA’s guidelines are followed by all blood centers in the nation and your eligibility is determined by your medications, travel, health conditions, and lifestyle.

To donate blood or platelets, you must:

Are you taking any medication?

Some medications can prevent you from donating temporarily or permanently. If you’ve been prescribed medication, please review this list to determine if you’re eligible to donate blood.

Please let our donor care specialists know if you are taking any of these medications.

Donating platelets?

Please let our donor care specialists know if you are taking any of these medications.

Still not sure if you’re eligible? Check out our FAQs section for more information or contact us.

Recent changes in eligibility

The FDA recently made changes to several guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may offer additional opportunities for military members and others to give blood. A complete list of the guideline changes is included here

 

Still have questions? Call our Donor Eligibility department at 210-731-5590, extension 2243, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. You can also email us here.

Donation Process:

What happens when you give blood?

Before you give blood, we ask you to eat iron rich meals the evening before and morning of your donation, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s sleep.

Save time when you donate by filling out your questionnaire the day of your donation with Donor Doc Advance.

When you arrive to give blood, you will be asked to show a picture ID. If you didn’t complete your health history questionnaire online through Donor Doc Advance, you will complete a questionnaire on site.

If you’re able to donate blood, you will have a mini-physical where vital signs will be checked, such as pulse, temperature, blood pressure and iron levels.

If you pass the screening, a donor care specialist will guide you to a donor bed. They will swab your arm inside the elbow and insert a sterile needle into a vein. About a pint of blood is drawn (for a whole blood donation) and a bandage is put on your arm.

 
 

After your donation, spend 10-15 minutes enjoying a snack and drink. Don’t forget to schedule your next appointment.

Thank you for donating!​

See what it takes to get your lifesaving donation to a patient​

Did you know there’s more than one way to give the gift of blood donation? Help patients fighting cancer, or even COVID-19 today.

Locations & Hours

We have seven lifesaving donor rooms conveniently located in San Antonio, New Braunfels and Victoria as well as mobile blood drives across South Texas.

Donations by appointment only.

Click a pin on the map to schedule a donation at a donor room or click the button below to find a blood drive.

Host a Donation Event

Inspired to do more? Host a drive at school, work or in your community.

Brothers in Arms

Your next donation may save a life at the scene of an accident, on a medical helicopter, or in an emergency room.

Resources for Donors

Access your profile, learn how to make donation as easy as possible and more!

Donation FAQs

STBTC needs to collect an adequate blood supply for more than 100 hospitals in 40 South Texas counties. We depend on volunteer blood donors to make this happen. Also, blood is perishable and there is no substitute.

You may donate at any of our seven neighborhood donor rooms or at any mobile blood drive. See above for locations.

  • Whole blood donors must wait at least 8 weeks between donations
  • Dual red cell donors must wait at least 16 weeks
  • Platelet donors must wait 1 week in between donations
  • Convalescent Plasma – intervals as short as 5 days

You receive a mini-physical (pulse, temperature and iron check), earn donor points and redeem them for a FREE gift card of your choice on our rewards store and the satisfaction that comes from saving lives.

The FDA requires that all blood centers ask about your medical history every time you donate to ensure the safety of the blood supply. You have to wait a certain amount of time between donations. A lot can happen in that time. The questions serve as a layer of protection for patients who receive blood.

Refrigerated red blood cells can be stored for up to 42 days. Plasma is frozen and stored for up to one year. Platelets can be stored for only five days.

Blood is used for many different patients including: cancer patients, open-heart surgery patients, diabetics, recipients of organ or tissue transplants, trauma victims and more.

After resting for five to ten minutes and enjoying refreshments to replenish your fluids, you should feel just fine and ready to continue your daily activities. You should refrain from heavy lifting or extreme physical exertion for 24 hours and you’ll feel great knowing you have helped save three lives.

Yes. All supplies used to collect blood are new, completely sterile and used only once. There is no risk of disease transmission to a donor.

Comfort levels vary from person to person but most first-time donors wonder why they waited so long! You will feel a slight pinch and it’s all over before you know it!

The qualifications to be a blood donor are simple. You must be in good general health, at least 17 years of age (or 16 with parental consent form) and weigh at least 110 lbs (or 120 lbs if 16 years old).

If you are a synthetic marijuana user, please do not donate. Read more here for more information.

If you have diabetes, you can give blood as long as it is under control with medication and/or lifestyle.

You may still be able to donate. Contact us with specific questions and one of our eligibility nurses will let you know if you can donate.

Share Your Story

Was your life saved by the generous gift of blood, marrow, tissue or cord blood? Or are you a donor who’d like to share why you chose to save a life?

About Us

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For more than 45 years, the nonprofit South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has focused on a critical purpose: to save and improve lives.

Inspired by a group of physicians, our organization was formed to provide blood to the South Texas region – ensuring a safe and adequate blood supply through proper testing, storage and distribution to hospitals. This essential service allows front-line workers to focus on the direct care of patients, with confidence that this lifesaving resource will be there when it’s needed most.

But we didn’t stop there. Over the years, we’ve evolved as the needs of our patients and hospitals have changed, driven to save lives in as many ways as possible.

We couldn’t do this without donors like you. We understand that the gift of donation is a personal, powerful choice that has the potential to touch a life. Today, we offer many ways to make a difference that include:

Our team has also expanded its programs, partnering with leaders within the healthcare industry to develop a wide range of therapies. We’ve recently developed programs to collect and distribute COVID-19 convalescent plasma, as well as improve trauma care.