1 minute readBlood

Blood Donation: 5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Needles

This National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross is working hard to ensure that lifesaving blood and platelet donations are available for patients who need them. However, this winter has been a challenge because severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on our ability to collect blood and platelet donations.

This year alone, snow and ice have forced us to cancel nearly 500 blood drives causing about 13,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. To combat this, we’re urging regular and first-time blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now.

We know that giving blood for the first time can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re afraid of needles. In fact, one of the main reasons people say they’ve never given blood or platelets, is because they’re afraid of needles. If you have this fear, we can help! Watch this video for tips on how to overcome your fear of needles when donating blood or platelets.

You can schedule a blood or platelet donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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  1. I have been hoping for smaller needles (21 guage) but apparently smaller than 17 guage damages the cells??
    What size does the Red Cross use ???
    seems to hurt !!!!

  2. Hi Betsy, the Red Cross uses a standard 16 gauge needle for whole blood donations. The size of the needle is to protect the red cells as they flow through the needle.