Can I give blood in Germany? If you’ve ever thought about it, now is the time! Shelves are empty and the need for donations is immense. The DRK even created this cute little barometer to show the levels of different blood types:
Don’t know your blood type? Give blood and find out! You also get a cool donor card and plenty of snacks after you donate. Here’s a step by step guide to get you started:
Step 1 – am I eligible to give blood?
If your answers to the questionnaire have raised some issues and you’d like to be sure you can donate before you arrive, call the hotline on 0800 11 949 11 (You never know, someone might speak English!).
Step 2 – Make an appointment
Making an appointment online is pretty simple these days. You can even do it from the app.
Step 3 – Prep
Eat, Water, Sleep – treat yourself to your favorite healthy foods and drink extra liquids (if you’re not well hydrated, donation literally won’t work – so keep those juices flowing!). Iron is also important to blood production, so adding some extra iron-rich foods to your diet can’t hurt! ex) red meats, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, raisins… Last, but certainly not least, get some SLEEP!
Step 4 – Register on appointment day
- Be sure to have your passport/ID card with you as you’ll need it to register. You’ll receive another questionnaire, similar to what you filled out online. Here is a translation of common questions, though they vary a bit from region to region. We suggest printing it out and using it as a guide. If you’re unsure of how to answer, leave it blank and the doctor will go over it with you.
- Confidential self-exclusion – If you have any doubts about donating or how you answered your questions, you can use confidential self-exclusion to discreetly and anonymously determine whether your blood will be passed on to patients. Your donated blood will be examined in any case. You can discretely put the sticker onto your form – sticker from the red side means exclude my donation, sticker from the green side means include my donation.
- They’ll then take your temperature, check your pulse, and check your Blutfarbstoff (your hemoglobin levels) to make sure you’re not anemic.
- Finally, after you pass all the tests and the doctor approves your questionnaire – it’s time to pick an arm! (or sometimes your veins decide for you…)
Step 5 – Bleed and snack!
It only takes about 7-10 minutes of you lying down and likely listening to the radio before you’ve gifted the proper amount of blood. Your body needs at least 10 minutes of rest and snacks after this to recoup the donated blood. During this time, experienced nurses and medical assistants monitor you to make sure you are fit to get up and go on with your day.
*bleed and snack*
Step 6 – Follow up care
- Drinks lots of fluids (non-alcoholic) to quickly replace the donated blood. You should avoid alcohol completely on donation day.
- Smokers – it’s recommended to wait an hour before consuming.
- First-time donors receive their blood donation pass within approx. 2 weeks. Please always carry this with you! It shows your blood type and can save lives in an emergency ✚
- Take it easy and know you’ve done a very good deed.