City Cast

How to Donate Blood in Houston

Adrian González
Adrian González
Posted on September 11
A patient holds a squishy red ball while donating blood.

An estimated 6.8 million people in the U.S. donate blood every year. (Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty)

Donating blood can be daunting and the question of eligibility can be confusing — earlier this year, the FDA updated its eligibility guidelines for men who have sex with men. Here’s a guide on how to donate blood in Houston.

Find Out if You’re Eligible

As a person with tattoos who has donated blood, I know that merely hearing myths about blood donations can be discouraging. The best place to start is to review an eligibility checklist like the one from the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. There are general requirements to keep in mind, such as a minimum age of 17 without parental consent, and health guidelines, as well as more specific health protocol. Always verify eligibility information.

Let’s Bust More Myths

  • 🩸 It’s painful: Yes, the moment the needle goes in can hurt momentarily, but it goes away once it’s placed.
  • 🩸 My blood type is common, so it’s not needed: Every two seconds someone in the country needs blood. Every blood type is vital.
  • 🩸 I’m too old: There is no maximum age for blood donation.
  • 🩸 It takes too long: The entire process typically takes around an hour. That’s less than the TikTok rabbit holes in which I frequently find myself.

Where to Donate

Organizations often host blood drives around Houston. You can start by searching “blood drives near me.” Blood donation appointments can also be made directly with organizations like the American Red Cross and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

Have a blood donation story? We want to hear it.

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