Blood donation process

You are reading this information because you have expressed an interest in participating in Marc Quinn’s Our Blood artwork. You may want to contribute to this artwork by donating your blood for humanitarian, charitable or artistic purposes.

Invitation to take part in this project

You are being invited to participate in this voluntary blood donation project. This website contains information that will help you to decide if you want to participate in the project.

If anything is unclear please ask a member of the phlebotomy team if you have questions [email protected]. They will describe the project and explain the Volunteer Consent Form to ensure you understand it and wish to participate. This is known as giving informed consent.

This information explains the purpose, description, risks, benefits and discomforts associated with participating in the project. Donation of blood for this project is voluntary and you are not under any pressure or obligation to do so. You do not have to agree to donate blood. You do not need to explain why, should you choose not to donate blood.

You are invited to donate UP TO A PINT (470ml) of blood if you are:

  • are aged ≥17 - 65
  • weigh 110lbs/50kg or more; and
  • are physically healthy

For reasons of safety, you should NOT donate a full pint of blood if you:

  • are aged under 17 and over 65
  • weigh less than 110lbs/50kg
  • are feeling unwell at the moment
  • are anaemic or receiving treatment for anaemia
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have given or received blood in the men 12 weeks/women 16 weeks ; or
  • know of any other reason, not listed, that could make you unsuitable

If there is a reason (as listed above) why you cannot donate a full pint (for example age, weight) this does not mean that you will be unable to donate blood to the project. A smaller amount of blood can be donated. A member of the medical team will go through a questionnaire with you to assess how much blood is safe for you to donate.

Donation process

What will happen if you agree to donate your blood?

  1. Read this information carefully and please ask any questions on the day to the person taking your blood.
  2. You and the person taking your blood will both sign the informed consent form.
    Medical Questionaire
    Informed Consent Form
  3. A drop of blood from your finger will be taken to check the iron levels (haemoglobin) in your blood. This is to ensure you are not anaemic, as people with low haemoglobin levels may not donate blood. If you are anaemic, you will be provided with a letter for a doctor and you will not be able to donate blood.
  4. If you are able to donate you will be asked to sit in a waiting area until you are called. You will be given a drink of water, or other fluids (approximately 300mls) – this will help with your well-being during and after donating your blood.
  5. Vital signs will be measured – this includes temperature, blood pressure and weight.
  6. We will examine your arm to find a suitable vein and clean it with an antiseptic sponge.
  7. We will insert a needle in your arm which will collect your blood into a blood bag.
  8. You should not feel any discomfort or pain. If you do, tell a member of staff.
  9. A scale weighs the blood and stops when you have donated 470ml (or just under a pint). This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.
  10. The needle will be removed and a sterile dressing applied to your arm. We will keep you in the clinic for 15-20 minutes, to ensure that you are feeling well.

Are there risks?

The needle stick may hurt. There is a small risk of bruising, and you may feel lightheaded or faint.

Are there benefits?

There is no financial benefit to you. You are donating your blood for the artwork, which in turn will generate money. All profits generated from this project will be donated to relief organisations which directly help people affected by the refugee crisis.

Will my medical information be kept confidential?

We will not keep any information about your medical history. Once the information has been reviewed to assess your eligibility for blood donation we will give the documents to you for your records.

What if I decide not to participate?

The alternative to participating is not to participate. If you do not wish to participate please tell the person taking your blood before they do so. After they have taken your blood you will not be able to withdraw.

Are there any costs or payments?

There is no cost or financial compensation for providing this blood donation.

After blood donation, what do I need to do?

To help you stay well after you have given blood, we advise you to:

  • keep the pressure bandage on your arm for about 30 minutes after you have given blood, and keep the plaster on for 6 hours;
  • rest for a short time after giving blood;
  • eat and drink – you will be encouraged to have at least 2 drinks and a snack before you leave;
  • avoid using the donation arm to carry anything very heavy for the rest of the day; and
  • avoid having a hot shower or bath for the rest of the day.
Aftercare sheet