Student donations account for approximately 30 percent of Indiana Blood Center’s blood supply. If you have a son or daughter who is considering donating blood, be proud of them for wanting to step up and make a difference! Below you will find some basic information about the safety, the process and answers to our most frequently asked questions by parents about blood donation.
Our number one goal for your student donor is safety. In collaboration with the Indiana Association of School Nurses, the Indiana Department of Education, high school administrators and our staff physicians, Indiana Blood Center has developed a donation environment specifically oriented for the high school blood donor. This includes:
- Gym mats in the post-donation recovery area. Refreshing donors on the floor minimizes fall risk.
- Special eligibility requirements for high school-aged donors, based on total blood volume (height and weight), to reduce the number of post donation reactions.
- Refreshments are provided to all students prior to donation as well as after donation to support post-donation recovery.
- An Indiana Blood Center Donor Care Specialist provides care for all students in the refreshment area as well as for any student who reports post-donation concerns to the school nurse after leaving the blood drive. The specialist focuses on post-donation care during and after the blood drive to help ensure the school nurse remains available to other students on the day of the drive.
- Contact information for Indiana Blood Center physicians is provided to students who experience a documented post-donation reaction. Our doctors are prepared to address parent and student questions and concerns.
While donating blood is simple, safe and saves lives, being unsure about the process can cause some first-time donors anxiety. By reviewing the steps involved in blood donation, your student can relax and feel confident with the process. To review the process, click here.
A donor must be at least 17 years old to donate or 16 years old with a signed parental consent form. If your student is 16 years old, please print off a consent form and ensure a signed copy is presented by them at donor registration. *Please contact Indiana Blood Center at 317-916-5150 to obtain this form.
Below are common questions we receive from parents of students. If you have a question that is not answered below, we encourage you to call us at 317-916-5150 or 800-632-4722, ext. 5150.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Yes! Donating blood is a safe process. Indiana Blood Center and the blood donation process is FDA regulated. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded. We have a highly trained phlebotomy staff who will deliver a donation experience specifically designed for your high school-aged donor.
Q: How long does it take?
A: The entire process takes approximately one hour, but the blood donation itself only takes about eight to ten minutes. The remainder of the time is needed for a mini physical, completion of the donor registration form and refreshment.
Q: How can I prepare my student for his/her donation?
A: Encourage your student to get a good night of sleep before the day of donation and eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water prior to the donation; Remind your student to bring a picture ID with birth date and a signed parental consent form (if 16 years old) to the blood drive. It is also helpful to wear clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow. Encourage your student to spend the recommended time in the refreshment area following his/her donation to eat and drink.
When a school hosts blood drives with Indiana Blood Center, their students have additional opportunities to demonstrate leadership, teamwork and commitment to others. Students can earn recognition for those efforts through Indiana Blood Center's excusive community partnerships. Opportunities listed below.
Indiana Blood Center Student Scholarship
- Schools nominate one student who has demonstrated a commitment to our mission by volunteering either as a blood donor or student blood drive recruiter. Learn more here.
Indiana Blood Center Student Ambassador Program
- For the most deeply committed high school students, our Student Ambassador Program extends the opportunity for community service beyond the high school. Student Ambassadors work with Indiana Blood Center representatives to host a blood drive at their church, parent’s workplace, community center, or other location of their choosing. Students who contact and recruit at least 25 successful donors will receive a letter of recognition to submit with their college application and a $50 gift card to help with back-to-school expenses. There is no limit to the number of gift cards that can be earned.
Indianapolis Colts Battle of the Bands
- Students in high school bands or music programs can rally around the life-giving mission of Indiana Blood Center by hosting community blood drives in June. The band that hosts the largest drive earns the opportunity to perform at Lucas Oil Stadium in front of 60,000 Colts fans. This is exclusive to Indiana Blood Center partner schools and helps provide blood during the summer months.
Indianapolis Colts High School Football Leadership Program
- Endorsed by the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Football Coaches Association, this program gives student athletes the opportunity to practice the lessons of teamwork, commitment, fair play, and character development learned on the field. Learn more here.
Riley Hospital Dance Marathon
- Schools that participate in a Riley Dance Marathon can host a blood drive with Indiana Blood Center and we will donate $3 per participant to Riley Children’s Foundation in the school’s name to be added to the dance marathon grand total. Learn more here.