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Process to Donate Blood

Donating blood and blood products to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is easy, safe, and rewarding. Your donation helps us treat children with pediatric catastrophic diseases. Every product collected in our donor center goes directly to our patients. We accept 2 types of donations: whole blood and platelets.

Get pre-screened

If you travel overseas, live in another country, or take medication, we recommend that you call our Blood Donor Center to get pre-screened for blood donation eligibility. Our recruiters can answer your medical and travel questions and determine if you are eligible to donate.

Make an appointment

If you live in the Memphis area or visit our hospital, you can schedule your appointment to donate blood by calling 901-595-2024 or submit an online request form. The Blood Donor Center accepts donors Monday–Friday at these times:

Available Appointment Times

8 a.m.*

8:15 a.m.*

8:30 a.m.*

8:45 a.m.*

9 a.m.

10 a.m.

10:15 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m.


12:30 p.m.

12:45 p.m.

1 p.m.

1:15 p.m.

1:30 p.m.

1:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

3 p.m.

3:15 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

3:45 p.m.

4 p.m.



*Not available on Tuesdays
**Closed for lunch daily from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Prepare for your donation

Have a good meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating blood. Get a good night’s rest the evening before. Do not donate if you are having a medical issue or do not feel well. You can reschedule your appointment for another day.

Getting to the Blood Donor Center

Enter the St. Jude campus from the guard gate located at 262 Danny Thomas Place. Tell the guard that you are here to donate blood. We recommend that you use our valet services at the front of the Patient Care Center (PCC). Valet service hours are Monday–Friday, 5:30 a.m.–11p.m. Please enter the hospital through the door marked “Blood Donor,” located just to the right of the main entrance.

See our parking and construction page for more information about valet services and campus parking.

What to expect

When you arrive, we will ask you to read some educational information. This information is about the risk of transmitting infectious diseases to patients from a blood transfusion.

You will acknowledge, in writing, that:

  • You have read and understand this information.
  • You were able to ask any questions.
  • You provided accurate information.

At any point during the donation process, you can choose not to donate (known as self-deferral).

Be assured that is virtually impossible to contract a disease from donating blood. Only sterile, disposable equipment is used throughout the donation process. You cannot get an infectious disease by donating blood or blood products.

Physical examination

Our team will ask about your health history and give you a short physical examination. Our team will check your blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, and blood hemoglobin (iron) levels. The team will take a few drops of blood from your finger and the lab will check your iron level, which must be high enough for you to donate blood.

You may be asked not to donate (defer) if:

  • Your health history shows any risk to you or the recipient.
  • Your physical exam is not within the Blood Donor Center’s acceptable limits.

See Eligibility to Donate for more information.

Donor history

If you have passed the physical examination, we will ask you about:

  • Your health and travel outside of the United States: please bring a list of countries you visited, dates of travel, and the length of your stay there. Travel also includes living in countries other than the United States. For your convenience, you can call the Blood Donor Center about your travel before making an appointment to donate.
  • Possible exposure to diseases that could be transmitted by a transfusion, such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis, or malaria. If you have been exposed, you will be evaluated further and may not be able to donate.
  • Any infection you may have.
  • Information that will help us decide if donating your blood could cause health problems for you.

We ask these questions to protect the health of both your health and the person who may receive your blood product. If there is any chance that donating may endanger your health or the recipient of your blood product, you will be deferred. Please see Eligibility to Donate for common reasons for donor deferral.

Testing your blood for transfusion transmittable infections  

To make sure that you do not have an infectious disease that could be transmitted to a patient, we will do tests on your blood product to check for:

  • HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  • HTLV-1, a virus that can cause blood or nerve disease
  • Hepatitis, a liver disease caused by a virus
  • Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

If there is a concern about your test results, we will contact you via certified mail and we may ask that you return in 8 weeks for repeat testing to confirm the results We will also advise you to see your physician.

Please note that donating blood is never a good way to get a free blood test. If you only want a blood test, please contact your physician.

During the donation

During your donation, we encourage you to relax in one of our comfortable donor chairs and enjoy a movie from our collection (you may bring your own if you wish).

  • Whole blood donation takes about 30 minutes.
  • Platelet donation takes about 2 hours.

After the donation

  • We will give you as much time as you need to relax and recover.
  • Common side effects may include dizziness, tingling in the lips and nose, as well as chills, which can be minimized by drinking enough water before you donate.  Side effects pass quickly after donation.
  • You will be given a snack to help your body recover from blood volume loss.
  • We will put a gauze pressure dressing on your puncture site. Please leave this bandage on for 1 hour. If you have any problems with the site afterwards, please call or visit the Blood Donor Center.
  • The evening after your donation, eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not smoke for 30 minutes.
  • If you feel faint or dizzy, either sit down with your head between your knees or lie down with your head lower than the rest of your body.
  • You can do normal activities after 30 minutes but avoid strenuous activity for the rest of the day.

Be sure to mark your calendar and make an appointment for your next donation. Thank you for helping our patients!

Contact the Blood Donor Center

Blood Donor Center
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678