Children's Hospital Colorado

Donate Blood for Research

There’s more than one way to donate blood and make a difference for children. Along with blood for transfusions, Children’s Hospital Colorado also needs blood to conduct various research programs.

Why your donation matters

Your blood donation can help us study new ways to treat children. Our research team uses what they learn to develop technologies that make blood donation and patient blood therapy even safer and more efficient.

We also use blood donations to pioneer new ways to treat patients of all ages. As a nonprofit, mission-driven hospital, Children’s Colorado supports our broader community during times of crisis.

We spearheaded convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19, using blood donations from people who have recovered from the virus. And our researchers have joined the nationwide effort to assess experimental treatments for COVID-19.

How to qualify to donate blood for research

Almost all healthy adults are eligible to donate blood for research because we don’t use these donations for transfusion. This means we can accept many donations from people who don’t qualify for traditional donation.

You may be able to give blood even if you haven’t been eligible in the past because of factors such as:

  • Recent travel
  • Excess iron in your blood (hemochromatosis) Tattoos or piercings

Donors must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be in good general health
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds

We accept all blood types, and we have an especially high need for Type A+ donors.

What to do before donating blood

You may need to complete a quick, one-time blood draw before donating. Before your donation appointment, we recommend that you:

  • Eat a full meal an hour or two before giving blood.
  • Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine on the day of your donation.

The blood donation process

The blood donation process takes about 1 hour from start to finish. We’ll compensate you for your time and travel each time you donate.

When you arrive at the Blood Donor Center located at our hospital on Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, on the first floor of the Administrative Pavilion, you will:

  • Check in and provide a government-issued ID card, along with your contact information.
  • Answer a series of confidential health questions.
  • Have a quick check of your weight, blood pressure, temperature and hemoglobin (protein in your blood that transports oxygen).
  • Donate blood! We typically draw about 450 milliliters (about 1 pint) of blood.

After donating

Congratulations! You’ve helped Children’s Colorado pursue important research to improve children’s healthcare. We recommend that you:

  • Relax for a few minutes and enjoy the light snack and drink that we offer.
  • Drink extra fluids for the next 48 hours.
  • Avoid strenuous activity the day of donation, such as heavy lifting or climbing ladders.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal with iron-rich foods, such as iron-fortified breads and cereals, spinach, peas, dates, raisins, nuts and juices.

Learn more by calling 720-777-5398 or emailing donate4kids@childrenscolorado.org.