Where to Donate Blood in Austin, TX

By Mia Barnes – September 1, 2023

Donating blood is one of the greatest gifts you can give because your action directly saves lives. You can donate whole blood, plasma or cells. You could even pad your wallet while you’re at it. Here’s where to donate blood in Austin, Texas, and why you should do so.

Why Donate Blood?

Donating blood is one of the most selfless acts you can do. North American blood banks go through 43,000 pints of donations daily as they save lives. However, although 37% of people meet the requirements, less than 10% sign up to give this lifesaving fluid.

When you donate whole blood, the bank separates your gift into four components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. Each plays a vital role in various medical procedures.

Plasma donation takes longer than whole-blood — approximately 90 minutes versus a typical 15. You can undergo this procedure up to twice weekly, but you’re only eligible to donate whole blood four to six times yearly. Donating plasma doesn’t change your eligibility to give blood, but you should wait two to three days between gifts.

Health Benefits of Donating Blood

Donating blood doesn’t only help the recipient. It pays off in health perks to you, too. For example, it’s good for your heart. One study showed that men who donate regularly can lower their heart attack risk by 30%. Researchers believe the process improves flow and decreases the chances of arterial blockages.

Blood donation also burns a small number of calories — about 500. Additionally, you get a free health screening. Doctors check your vital signs and may detect dangerous conditions like atrial fibrillation.

8 Places to Donate Blood in Austin, TX

Here are eight places to donate blood in Austin. You can choose a whole-blood donation or a recurring plasma gift.

To Donate Whole Blood

Those who wish to donate whole blood have several locations in Austin, including the following:

  • The American Red Cross: This organization has multiple drives throughout the Austin area. Those who give blood between July 12 and August 12, 2023, can win a New York trip for two, including a private shark dive adventure.
  • We Are Blood: This organization has four donation centers on Slaughter Lane, Round Rock, Cedar Park and North Lamar. You can donate whole blood, platelets or double-red cells or have blood banked for later personal use.

To Donate Plasma

You have multiple options for donating plasma. Doing so could be one way to fight inflationary pressures, as donors receive anywhere from $50 to $100 per donation. Although the procedure takes longer, many centers offer free Wi-Fi, letting you work or study while the machine does the work.

  • Biolife: You can bring a friend to get a buddy bonus coupon this month. It’s located on Owen Tech Boulevard, five minutes from the Wells Branch Community Library and the recreation center.
  • CSL Plasma: This organization provides a prepaid debit card to pay bills or shop. You also receive iGive points with each donation to redeem for cash.
  • Octapharma Plasma: Although this location is not yet open, it will soon offer a center on William Cannon Drive.
  • Grifols:  This center offers two locations on Airport Boulevard and West Slaughter Lane.

To Donate White Blood Cells

White blood cells are your body’s germ fighters. You can earn up to $375 with your donation to Beacon Biologics. Fill out its online application to make an appointment at the Austin location.

4 Tips for a Successful Blood Donation Experience

Take these steps to ensure a successful donation.

  1. Talk to Your Doctor: They may know if you have health conditions impacting eligibility.
  2. Nourish Yourself: Have a hearty meal before you donate. Focus on lean protein like fish and plenty of brightly colored fruits and vegetables for the vitamins and minerals your body needs to restore itself after donation.
  3. Go With a Friend: The buddy system makes first-time donations less scary and can net you a bonus at some plasma centers.
  4. Focus on the Benefits: You might pad your coffers with extra cash. Either way, you save up to three lives while improving your health.

Make a Difference by Donating Blood

Donating blood is a free way to benefit your health and give back to the community. You have several choices in Austin where you can make a difference in the lives of others.

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