Giving blood banner

Credit: University of California

Locate a nearby blood donation center

American Red Cross

Blood Donation Requirements

UC Davis Health and UC San Diego Health
Enter UC Davis or UC San Diego in the “Find a Blood Drive” field in the upper right corner of to find convenient locations and make an appointment.

UCLA Health
Westwood Village Donor Center

Ackerman Student Union Donor Center  

UC Irvine Health

UC San Francisco Health
Vitalant or American Red Cross

Right now, running through your veins, is the power to save a life.

Blood supplies often run low during the winter holidays, but this year, the problem is particularly acute because of the pandemic. Thousands of mobile blood drives have been cancelled, and health officials worry that we could see serious shortages in the coming weeks unless enough people make appointments to donate.

“Lots of people want to help their communities during this pandemic — well, a blood donation is a very meaningful way of doing that,” said Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president for University of California Health. “It is an act of service that saves lives.”

Donating is simple: Book an appointment at your nearest American Red Cross donation center or contact one of the University of California Health hospitals to donate.

Once you arrive for your appointment, the process takes about an hour, just 10 minutes of which is the actual donation. The rest of the time is spent filling out forms, providing a health history, and recovering with juice and a cookie.

Safety protocols are in place to minimize health risks from the coronavirus, including strict social distancing practices, mandatory masks, and enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.

Recovered from COVID-19? Your blood is critically needed

Smiling nurse in a room
Credit: University of California

There are some restrictions on who can donate. People who have contracted COVID-19 and fully recovered, however, have antibodies in their blood that could help others survive the virus.

If you have recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19, the donation center will separate your blood into its component elements and use the convalescent plasma to help others who are currently fighting the virus.

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, both donated convalescent plasma in May through UCLA Health to help with patient recovery efforts. Hanks has encouraged others to do the same, tweeting to his 16.7 million followers that the process was “as easy as taking a nap.”