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Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Blood Donation Process Work?

Depending on the type of donation, the physical collection of blood products will take 10 to 90 minutes.  The entire donation process, from registration to release, will take 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of donation.

First the volunteer donor will register at the reception area. Next, he or she will answer a medical history questionnaire in a secure setting at home using iScreen or at the blood drive/blood donation center.  Then a trained medical screener will check the donor’s blood pressure, temperature and iron level, to ensure that they are eligible to donate. Next the donor will undergo the physical collection of blood before a final trip to the canteen, where he or she will relax and enjoy refreshments.

Who Can Donate Blood?

If you are in good health, 16 years of age or older, and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, you are most likely eligible to donate blood. There is no upper age limit for blood donors.

Click here for general eligibility requirements.  If you have more specific questions regarding your eligibility complete the form below, or contact the Blood Center’s donor scheduling department at 610-691-5850.

Can I bring my child with me to donate?

You cannot take your child with you through the donation process.  The donor room, screening room, and canteen are considered biohazard areas and children are not permitted.  However, we do offer babysitting services through our certified staff and volunteers at our Bethlehem Donation Center.  Please call us prior to your scheduled appointment to confirm babysitting service availability.

Are Service Animals permitted while donating?

A trained service animal is permitted within the Waiting, Screening, Phlebotomy and Canteen areas of our fixed sites, mobiles and coaches. Service animals shall be in the control of their handler at all times.  Service animals should not be left unattended.

What Is the Risk of Contracting Any Infectious Disease from Donating Blood?

All medical equipment used in the blood donation process is sterile and used only once. Consequently, there is no risk of acquiring any infectious disease from the blood donation process.

What if My Blood Tests Positive for a Disease?

Miller-Keystone Blood Center performs over 10 infectious disease tests on every unit of donated blood.  In the event that testing returns questionable results, the Blood Center will confidentially notify the donor and recommend any follow-up actions.

How Often Can I Donate?

Whole blood donors may donate blood every 56 days. Platelets may be donated on a more regular basis, up to 24 times per year.

  • Donate Whole Blood every 56 days up to 6 times per year
  • Donate Platelets every 8 days up to 24 times per year
  • Donate Plasma every 4 weeks
  • Donate Automated Red Cells every 112 days

Am I Eligible to Donate? 

Click here for our General Donor Eligibility Guidelines.

How Often Is Donated Blood Discarded?

Miller-Keystone Blood Center ensures that donated blood is collected appropriately and managed judiciously. We maintain the proper balance of blood collections in accordance with regional usage, and as a result, very little blood is discarded. Blood products are only lost when patient needs are less than current supplies. Blood cannot be used after 42 days in inventory.

Can I Donate My Own Blood for an Upcoming Surgery?

When an individual is informed by their physician a blood transfusion may be needed for an upcoming elective surgery, they can schedule to donate blood for their own use. This is known as an autologous blood donation. This type of self-donation requires a medical request from your doctor, and is coordinated with the Blood Center’s Special Collections department.

Can I Donate Blood for a Specific Individual?

In the case of some patients, physicians can request directed donations, in which patients may designate that a specific individual(s) provide the number of blood units requested by his or her physician. This type of donation is coordinated with the Blood Center’s Special Collections department.

If we have not been able to answer your question regarding blood donation, e-mail us and we will answer your question as soon as possible.

Questions for Miller-Keystone Blood Center?

  • If you are an existing Miller-Keystone blood donor, please provide your birthdate for identification. This will streamline to process for addressing your inquiry.