Why Give Blood?

You have what it takes to save a life.

A car crash victim. A cancer patient. A newborn baby desperately in need of a blood transfusion. These are your friends and neighbors and they need you.

Did you know that Baptist Health relies solely on donations from people like you to supply its blood bank? More than 3,000 donations a year are needed to meet the current demand. Every time you donate blood, you help to save as many as three people’s lives.

The blood donor program was established in 1961 and operates primarily on community and staff donations. Baptist Health Madisonville uses approximately 350-450 pints of blood each month. Only five percent of eligible donors actually give blood in a given year. We rely on your generous donations to save the lives of your friends and neighbors.  

The YMCA is a proud partner of Baptist Health Madisonville's Blood Bank by hosting bi-monthly blood drives at the Y (upcoming 2016 blood drives:March 22, May 17, July 12, September 6 and November 1).


It is estimated that more than 4 million Americans will need a blood transfusion this year. Each one of these people will be counting on someone like you taking the time to donate the blood necessary to help save their lives.

The blood you donate can be used by as many as three difference people when separated into its various components:

  • Red blood cells — typically needed by patients after a severe injury or surgery. They can only be kept under refrigeration for 42 days, so there is a need to continually refresh our supply.
  • Platelets — Leukemia, transplant and hemophilia patients are most often in need of this blood product which can only be stored for five days.
  • Plasma — the liquid part of the blood can be used for several different uses, including treatment of burn victims


When you arrived at the Blood Bank or a mobile blood drive, you will register by presenting your driver’s license. Next, you will go to a private are where one of our staff members will ask you questions about your medical history and other questions that could potentially put you at risk,

After the “check-in” process, someone will check your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. We can check your red blood cell levels with a simple finger prick. If you level is unsafe to donate, you will be told at this time.

The next step is to lie back in a donor bed as a phlebotomist cleans your arm and inserts a needle into the vein for the collection of about one pint of blood into a sterile pouch. When asked if the process is painful, most donors say there is just the sensation of a firm pinch in the arm.

The actual time involved in the blood collection is only about 10 minutes. The entire donation process actually takes less than an hour. After the needle is removed, a sterile bandage is placed on your arm, you are asked to stay and rest for a few minutes and to take advantage of the refreshments provided to maintain your energy level.

Every unit of whole blood goes through up to 12 tests to ensure patient safety. Your blood will be tested for ABO group (blood type) and Rh type (positive or negative.) Blood is then screened for infectious diseases, which include hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis.


Just about everyone can donate! Eligible donors typically are those who are healthy, at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have not donated blood in the last 56 days.

As in everything we do, our first concern is your health and well-being. There is absolutely no risk of contacting AIDS or any other infectious disease from donating blood. All materials used are sterile. A new needle is used for each patient and then discarded immediately after use.

Donating blood is quick, safe, and easy. Your body will replace the donated pint of blood within a few days.