What is it?
Giving blood is a voluntary and benevolent action which allows the treatment of several thousand men and women in France. Needs are daily and increase every year. There is no product capable of replacing human blood. Blood donation is therefore essential to treat certain diseases. Donating blood is therefore useful to help emergency relief, and people having surgical operations, blood diseases, cancers, etc.
Good to know: It's normal to ask oneself questions before deciding to donate blood. Frequently asked questions and answers are here.
It is the French Blood Establishment (EFS) which organizes collections throughout France. Collection locations can be fixed (hospitals, donation centers) or mobile (EFS teams travel to towns, businesses, etc.).
Good to know: An intermediate level of French is required (minimum B2) to understand the questions on the website and during the meeting.
Who is it for?
What to do?
Fill in the questionnaire
To find out if you can donate blood, it is necessary to answer a questionnaire.
The criteria relate to age, weight, diseases, lifestyle, etc.
Click here to answer the online questionnaire.
Good to know: To donate blood, you must be in good health and weigh at least 50 kg.
You can be excluded from donating blood if there are medical contraindications, but you cannot be excluded because of your sexual orientation.
Here are some examples of medical contraindications:
- Taking antibiotics (ongoing or stopped for less than 14 days).
- Infection or fever over 38°C less than 2 weeks old.
- Vaccine less than 4 weeks old.
- Active contagious infections (syphilis, HIV infection, etc.)
Choose a collection location
If you meet the criteria, a map appears. You can then choose your collection location based on your postcode.
There are a hundred of them in total in France.
Make an appointment
Once the location has been chosen, you can make an appointment on one of the available slots: click on “make an appointment”, then on “next”.
Fill in the information and confirm the appointment
To validate the appointment, you must fill in your information with your:
- first name
- phone number
- date of birth
- city where you live
Then click on “confirm your appointment”.
Good to know: A blood donation is 100% anonymous. Only the EFS knows the identity of the donor and of the recipient.
Donate blood at the collection site
- Welcome and registration
At the time of the appointment, the EFS team welcomes you, checks your identity, registers your file and gives you a questionnaire to complete.
Good to know: It is important to answer questions honestly.
- Interview before donation
A doctor conducts this confidential interview. He looks at the questionnaire you have filled out and asks you questions to check that you can donate blood.
Your blood is collected using sterile, single-use equipment. For new donors, a measurement of the hemoglobin level is carried out in order to identify a possible "anaemia" (a lack of iron).
After your donation, small things to eat are offered to you to regain energy (biscuits, orange juice, etc.). This friendly moment is an opportunity to ensure your good recovery after the donation and to make you want to come back.
Good to know: A blood donation lasts on average 1 hour taking into account the 4 stages which go from reception to snack. And in 1 hour you can save 3 lives. Indeed, thanks to your donation, the EFS can collect 3 blood products, red blood cells, plasma and platelets which will be used for several patients.
You can come back to donate blood a few weeks later
It is allowed to donate blood for a man no more than 6 times a year, and for a woman no more than 4 times.
Good to know: There is an 8-week waiting period requirement between two blood donations.
It is also possible to donate plasma or donate platelets.