Donate Blood

The need for blood affects us all. Nine out of every 10 people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their life. A constant supply of blood is necessary for the life-saving treatments needed by many patients here at the University of Chicago Medicine.  Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Our employees are helping out and we're hoping you will, too.

For those who are able, donating blood is a simple, meaningful way to give back and to help support our patients.  For information or to schedule an appointment contact Donor Services at 773-702-6247 or DonorServices@uchospitals.edu.

Blood Donation: How Can I Help? (PDF)

As a small token of appreciation, we invite our donors to choose a food court coupon, an AMC movie ticket or free parking validation.

Be a hero - Donate blood to our blood bank today and save three lives!

Directed Donor Program

At the University of Chicago Medicine Blood Donation Center, you can even donate specifically to a family member or friend. Just provide the recipient's name, and our staff will coordinate the delivery of your blood donation to that individual.

Hours

Monday through Friday 
7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Blood Donation Center is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Location

Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine 
5758 S. Maryland Avenue, Room 2E 
Chicago, IL 60637 

BLOOD CAN BE DONATED EVERY 56 DAYS.

PLATELETS CAN BE DONATED EVERY 7 DAYS (UP TO 24 TIMES A YEAR)

Donating blood will take about 35 minutes.

Donating platelets will take about 2 hours.

Red blood cells (RBCs) contain iron and therefore blood donation removes some iron from your body. All blood donors, even platelet and plasma donors, lose some RBCs (and iron) with their donations.

Your body needs iron to make new RBCs and to perform other metabolic tasks. Iron comes from either preexisting iron stores in your body or iron in the food you eat. Many menstruating women may not have enough iron stored in their body to make RBCs to replace their donation. Men have more iron stores; however, with frequent donation, iron stores in men can also become depleted.

Not directly. Donor Services tests your hemoglobin, a measure of your RBC level, but not your iron stores. You may have enough hemoglobin to donate blood even though your body’s iron stores are low.

Low iron stores are common, particularly in women of childbearing age.

As iron stores become depleted, the body loses the ability to produce enough new RBCs, and anemia results. While anemia interferes with blood donation, it can also cause health problems such as fatigue and decreased exercise capacity.

Eating a well-balanced, iron-rich diet is helpful. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron varies by gender, but is at least 8mg for all adults.

Some Foods High in Iron

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Dried Fruits
  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Molasses
  • Nuts
  • Peas
  • Prunes and Prune Juice
  • Poultry
  • Red Meat
  • Shellfish & Fish
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes and Tomato Juice

If diet alone does not replace all the iron lost from blood donation, taking iron supplements may help. There are many different types of iron supplements. The University of Chicago Medicine Blood Donor Services does not provide prescriptions for over-the-counter iron products. Please ask your doctor if you have any questions about your underlying health conditions and starting iron supplements. Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to assist you in deciding what dose, type, and duration of iron supplement to choose. Donors who take one multivitamin with iron (typically 18 mg elemental iron) each day for 3 months, or one iron caplet (commonly 325 mg tablets of ferrous sulfate which provide about 65 mg of elemental iron) each day for 7-8 weeks, can replace the amount of iron lost in one unit of donated RBCs. DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN THE RECOMMENDED DOSAGE OF IRON BECAUSE HIGHER DOSES CAN BE HARMFUL. Iron-containing supplements should be properly stored to prevent accidental ingestion by babies and children.If your child swallows an iron pill, contact a poison control center right away.