DonorPass is an online, self-interview program that allows donors to answer the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-required health history questionnaire before arriving at a blood collection site.
The basic qualifications for donating whole blood include being at least 16 years of age and weighing at least 110 pounds. Donors must also be in generally good health and feel well on the day their donation. Click here for more information on eligibility requirements.
The BL Rewards program recognizes and rewards donors who have committed to saving lives through blood donation.
Every time you successfully donate, you earn points that can be redeemed for exclusive rewards through our Online Store. The more you donate, the greater your rewards. (Points can also be donated to support charities that share our goal: saving lives.)
We offer a Visa® Prepaid Gift Card*, accepted at thousands of locations, through our Online Store.
You also receive perks for being a donor, including a mini physical and the ability to track wellness information. It’s a free and easy way to live well.
*This card is issued by MetaBankTM, Member FDIC.
Blood donors may enroll in the BL Rewards program at the time of donation at any LifeSource community donor center or fixed site or at any LifeSource mobile blood drive.
You can also sign up by calling 1-877-LIFESOURCE (1-877-543-3768) and speaking to one of our customer service representatives or by completing the online enrollment form.
Donors need to personally register for the BL Rewards program.
BL points are a key benefit of the BL Rewards program. BL points enable program members to shop in our Online Store.
BL members have the opportunity to use their points to purchase a Visa® Prepaid Gift Card* or Know Your Type T-shirt, or choose to donate their points to other not-for-profit organizations with which we have partnered. Click here to visit our Online Store.
*This card is issued by MetaBankTM, Member FDIC.
A donor must first become a BL member. BL members receive points for each successful donation.
Points are dependent upon the donation type. (Click here for a list of how many points are earned with each donation.)
Your points are automatically credited to your BL account after each visit. It may take up to 48 hours after a donation for the points to appear in your account.
To log in to My Personal Donation History, where you can view how many points you have accumulated, please click here.
Points vary depending on donation type. Click here to view a list of donation types and their point value allocation.
Donors can find a list of each donation type and associated point values on the Points Overview page.
Yes, BL members have opportunities to earn bonus points.
To view a complete list of bonus point options, please click here.
The amount of points needed to redeem an item varies depending on the reward.
Click here to visit our Online Store and view items and their associated point values.
To see your current point balance and redeem Online Store items for those points, follow these steps:
- Click here to visit the Online Store
- Choose an item by clicking on the image
- Click “Log in to order this item” at the bottom of the page
- Enter your donor ID and password
- If you have never logged in before, follow the steps to log in for the first time
- Click Online Store
- Choose the item you would like to order by clicking on its image
- Click Add to Cart
- Click Check Out
- Confirm your address and your order
If you do not have internet access, please call 1-877-LIFESOURCE (1-877-543-3768) to speak to a customer service representative.
Donors receive points for all successful donations from the time they enroll.
Points are awarded for successful donations only.
As a BL member, you continue to earn points with each successful donation. If you choose not to redeem your points for the items in our Online Store, you can allow them to expire or donate them to a non-profit organization with which we have partnered.
BL points expire 13 months after blood donation inactivity. (“Activity” is defined as being a participating donor or presenting to donate.)
Points are an expression of gratitude to you for saving lives by donating blood. You are not able to transfer them to another person.
It may take up to 48 hours for your BL points to appear, in your account, in our system.
If, in seven days, your points are not available, please call 1-877-LIFESOURCE (1-877-543-3768) or submit an inquiry through our Contact Us page, and a customer service representative will be happy to help you.
My Personal Donation History is an online account that safely and securely stores, and allows donors to track donation information, such as blood type and eligibility date.
My Personal Donation History also allows donors to search for community donor centers, fixed sites and mobile blood drives in close proximity to where they live or work and create and edit future appointments to donate blood.
Donors can easily monitor their personal wellness information, including blood pressure and pulse, through My Personal Donation History.
Everyone has a My Personal Donation History account created for them within our system after the first time they present to donate.
To log in to your donor profile, follow these steps:
- Click here to get to the donor log-in page
- If you have logged in before:
- Enter your donor ID (this can be found on your donor ID card)
- Enter the password you created
- If you have donated before but have never logged in, you still have a My Personal Donation History account
- Click Create a password below “Existing Donors” and log in using your donor ID and birth date
- You will be prompted to create a password
Once logged into your profile, you will be able to confidentially keep track of personal donation information, such as blood type, prior donation information, donation eligibility and health information (including cholesterol levels).
If you have never before donated with LifeSource, you do not have a My Personal Donation History account and you cannot create one. You can still search for community donor centers and mobile blood drives and make an appointment online by clicking on the links below New Donor.
I’ve created a profile to have access to My Personal Donation History – is that the same as registering for the BL Rewards program?
No. My Personal Donation History is a secure online service that enables our donors to track general donation information, such as blood type; prior lifesaving donations; eligibility date; and wellness information.
The BL Rewards program, however, gives you the opportunity to earn points for every successful donation. Your points can be redeemed for exclusive rewards through our Online Store. The more you donate, the bigger your rewards.
A My Personal Donation History account is created for you after your first time presenting to donate with LifeSource. However, you must sign up to become a BL Member.
Will I be able to choose my contact preference once I create a My Personal Donation History profile?
Yes. Donors can change their My Personal Donation History profile, including selecting a contact preference.
Donors can choose direct mail, email and/or telephone as a preferred method of communication from LifeSource.
One of the benefits offered after your third successful donation each calendar year is an Advanced Wellness Check, which provides donors with a lipid profile test. This lipid profile, consisting of an LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides check, can determine the risk of coronary artery disease. These tests have been shown to be indicators of whether or not someone is likely to have a heart attack or stroke caused by blocked blood vessels.
Donors can receive an Advanced Wellness Check only once per calendar year.
This benefit is reserved for BL members who have successfully donated at least three times in a calendar year.
You do not need to schedule an appointment for your Advanced Wellness Check; walk in to a LifeSource community donor center and tell the receptionist you are there for your Advanced Wellness Check.
You must fast for 12 hours prior to getting tested; this will help ensure accurate results.
Your results will be available in the Wellness Center section of your My Personal Donation History profile.
Results will be available online within seven to 10 days of testing.
Call 1-877-LIFESOURCE (1-877-543-3768) and provide the required information to our customer service representative or leave the information on our secure voicemail when prompted.
The results of your Advanced Wellness Check will be retrieved from your account and can be mailed to you confidentially.
Unless accompanied by an adult, you must be at least 16 years of age to volunteer at area blood drives.
No. We respect your time and schedule and are flexible about how often and for how many hours at a time you can volunteer. Many of our volunteers have been with us for years, with varying levels of activity over the years.
If you volunteer to work at mobile blood drives, you will receive a call one to two weeks prior to the blood drive with a list of dates, times and locations of drives needing a volunteer. You may work at one or several sites each week. When you sign up for a particular drive, you will be mailed directions and a confirmed date and time.
Yes. We will provide you with the tools and training necessary to successfully perform assignments.
No. Our volunteers never handle blood products. Staff is specially trained to properly handle blood and blood products.
No. Volunteers will be responsible for their own transportation. We will provide detailed directions to all locations. If needed, we can provide bus tickets to blood drives on public transportation routes.
To be considered for available job openings, qualified candidates must apply online.
We receive numerous applications from several different sources each day. The time it takes to review each application varies by the position. You will be contacted directly by our recruitment team if your skills and abilities are a match for the open position. If you do not hear from us right away, we have placed your application, on file, in our database. This application will remain in our system for 90 days. After that time, please resubmit an application if you would like to remain in our system.
If you have applied online and provided a valid email address, you will receive an email confirmation notifying you that we have received your application and will be reviewing it shortly.
I have tried repeatedly to apply for a few positions online and I was unable to access the application screen. I am clicking on the Apply Online link to complete an application and nothing is happening.
The application form opens in a pop-up window. Please be sure that you do not have pop-up-blocker software turned on. If your pop-up blocker is on, please set it to allow pop-ups from www.lifesource.org.
Most benefits, such as medical, dental and vision insurance, are effective the first of the month following 60 days of employment.
All employees are paid on a biweekly pay cycle.
Because tissue type is inherited, patients are most likely to match someone of their same race and ethnicity. While donors of all types may help save lives, there is a serious shortage of marrow/stem cell donors who represent ethnic minorities.
Marrow donation is a surgical procedure performed in a hospital. While the donor receives anesthesia, doctors use special, hollow needles to withdraw liquid marrow from the donor’s pelvic bones. A donor’s marrow is completely replaced within four to six weeks.
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation takes place at an apheresis center. To increase the number of blood-forming cells in the bloodstream, donors receive daily injections of a drug called filgrastim for five days before the collection. The donor’s blood is then removed through a sterile needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplantation; the remaining blood is then returned through the other arm.
Marrow donors can expect to feel some soreness in their lower back for a few days or longer. Donors also have reported feeling tired and having some difficulty walking. Most donors are back to their usual routine in a few days. Some may take two to three weeks before they feel completely recovered.
PBSC donors report varying symptoms, including headache, bone or muscle pain, nausea, insomnia and fatigue while receiving injections of filgrastim. These effects disappear shortly after collection. During the collection, donors may experience a tingling feeling or chills; these effects also go away shortly after donating.
When asked about their discomfort, most donors are quick to point out that it was worth it to help save a life and they would be willing to do it again.
After a patient undergoes chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment to destroy their diseased marrow, the healthy donor cells are given directly into the patient’s bloodstream. The cells travel to the marrow, where they begin to function and multiply.
The blood is collected after the baby is born and the cord is cut. There is no change in the way mother and baby are cared for during labor, delivery or afterward.
Public donations are free. The cord blood tissue type is listed on an international registry and is made available to anyone in the world, whose cells are a match.
Private cord blood banking requires processing and ongoing storage fees. Privately banked cord blood is rarely used and not available to non-family members.
If you are healthy, over 18 years of age, delivering one baby (rather than two or more) and have no family history of blood cancers, your chance for qualifying are good. If you have specific questions about your situation, ask your doctors or contact a representative from our bank at (877) GIVCORD (877-448-2673).
No. Cord blood stem cells are NOT embryonic stem cells and are free of political and ethical debate. Many states are introducing legislation to educate families about the options for their baby’s cord blood. Click here to read about the U.S. government’s support and legislation.
More than 6,000 stem cell transplants using cord blood have been used to treat a growing number of diseases. These include forms of cancer, certain immune diseases, blood disorders, inborn problems with metabolism and others.
Public cord blood banks, that list cord blood on the international registry, adhere to specific and rigorous regulations developed by multiple sources such as the FDA and the National Marrow Donor Program. These guidelines are a set of quality standards for products used in transplantation. As such, there are a certain percentage of donations that cannot be banked. Though, we make all attempts to utilize these donations through an array of preclinical researchers.
Yes. The computer-assisted questions are the exact same questions you would answer at a community donor center, fixed site or mobile blood drive.
It is very important that donors drink plenty of decaffeinated fluids and eat a good meal within four hours of donating. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before donating is also recommended. For more on donor preparation, click here.
For safety reasons, the FDA requires that you answer the health history questionnaire on the same day as your visit. If you complete the health history questionnaire before 12:01 a.m. on the day of your visit, your DonorPass will not be accepted by the computer system at the donor center and you will need to answer the health history questions again.
You must bring at least one form of photo ID, which includes your full name (e.g. driver’s license). It’s also recommended to bring a list of medications that you are taking and a list of places outside the U.S. you have visited within the past three years.
No. You can answer the health history questions at the donor center, fixed site or mobile drive at the time of your donation, and you will always have the option of a staff-assisted one-on-one interview. The benefit of using DonorPass is that it helps speed up the donation process.
From registration to post-donation refreshment,s it takes approximately an hour to donate a unit of whole blood. Times may vary for other blood donations but the process remains the same:
1. Registration: Sign in and provide us with your name, date of birth, address and additional demographic information.
2. Medical Screening: Answer confidential medical history questions and complete a mini physical, including measuring blood pressure, temperature and pulse.
3. Blood Donation: Donate a unit of whole blood in approximately 10-15 minutes (no more than 20 minutes). Other donation types may take longer.
4. Post-Donation Refreshments: Remain in our canteen for about 15 minutes, eating a snack and drinking plenty of decaffeinated fluids.
Yes. Your answers cannot be read or reviewed by anyone until the information is scanned into our computer system. Once received in our computer system, only our qualified LifeSource staff members can access your information.
The majority of our donors feel fine after donating. We highly recommend our donors remain in the canteen for 15 minutes after donating for a light snack and plenty of decaffeinated fluids. We recommend continuing to drink decaffeinated fluids for 24 hours post-donation.
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Light exercise is fine. Avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for about 24 hours.
When using DonorPass, you may skip a question or go back to review and/or correct a question at any time before printing your DonorPass. You can also leave questions unanswered. Unanswered questions will be reviewed with you at your visit by a blood center staff member.
Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to all tissues and return carbon dioxide to the lungs.
Plasma, the fluid portion of blood, contains water, albumin, hormones and clotting factors and is where the blood cells are suspended.
Platelets are small plate-shaped cells that cluster together to help form blood clots when bleeding occurs.
White cells protect against disease and infections.
If you lose your DonorPass, you may redo the online health history questionnaire and print a new DonorPass, or you may answer the questions again when you arrive at the site. Your answers are embedded in the barcode and cannot be read by anyone other than a LifeSource staff member using our computer system.
If you forget to bring your DonorPass with you, you will need to re-answer the questions at the donor center.
Absolutely not. There is no risk of contracting AIDS, or any other disease, through the donation process. Each collection kit is sterile, pre-packaged and used only once.
For your safety, and the safety of the blood supply, the FDA requires that this questionnaire be completed with each donation.
Yes. The body contains 10 to 12 pints of blood. Your whole blood donation is approximately one pint.
Whole blood: every 56 days
Double red blood cells: every 112 days
Platelets: every 7 days, up to 24 times a year
Plasma: every 29 days
All components of whole blood have a shelf life for human transfusion. Red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life. Platelets have a shelf life of five days. Plasma has a shelf life of one year.
LifeSource strives to maintain an optimum inventory level of seven days. For various reasons, including the unpredictable demands from trauma incidents, the blood inventory fluctuates hourly.
Residents of our area are the beneficiaries of a first-rate health care system that relies on an adequate blood supply. Low blood inventory levels can potentially disrupt the delivery of health care and affect patient treatment.
With less than three percent of the Chicagoland population donating blood, it’s a challenge to meet the heavy blood product demand. LifeSource must import blood to meet the demand of area patients; if every eligible donor donated twice a year, LifeSource would be self-sufficient.
To ensure the safest possible blood supply, all screening questions must be asked of all donors at each donation. The Food and Drug Administration requires that all blood centers conform to this practice.
You can now use DonorPass to complete the health history questionnaire before arriving at one of our participating locations, starting at 12:01 a.m. the day of your donation. To find out more about DonorPass, click here.
The volume of fluids will adjust within a few hours of your donation. Red blood cells will be replaced within a few weeks. When donating through the apheresis process, donors receive back into their body the blood products that aren’t used at the time of their donation.
Blood donations are separated into three components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Red blood cells are primarily used for cancer patients, liver transplants, anemic patients, ulcer patients and trauma victims. Platelets are needed for cancer and leukemia patients. Plasma is mainly used for patients with bleeding disorders and burn victims.
The majority of the blood and blood products donated with LifeSource are distributed to hospitals in the region.
For your safety, and the safety of the recipient, in order to donate LifeSource requires that you be in generally good health (symptom-free) and feeling well on the day of your donation.
The actual donation for whole blood takes about 10 – 15 minutes. The entire whole blood donation process, from registration to post-donation refreshments, takes about one hour. Donation time varies for other donation types — click here for more information.
In general, donors must be at least 17 years old to donate without parental consent. Sixteen-year-olds can donate with a signed parental consent form. Autologous donors can donate at a younger age if accompanied by a parent.
There is no upper age limit to donating.
Yes. You must be at least 110 pounds to donate whole blood, platelets or plasma. Men must weigh at least 130 pounds and women must weigh at least 150 pounds to donate double red blood cells.
When you are donating whole blood, it is strongly recommended that you make an appointment prior to your donation to limit the waiting time and help make your experience faster and more convenient, but it is not required. Walk-ins are always welcome.
Appointments are required for apheresis donations. Please call 1-877-543-3768 to schedule an apheresis appointment.
LifeSource has 18 community donor centers located throughout the Chicagoland area. For locations, hours of operation and the types of donations available at that center, please see our map of community donor centers.
You may also donate at a mobile blood drive. Click here to search for upcoming mobile blood drives in your area or call 1-877-LIFESOURCE (1-877-543-3768).
This donation type is called an autologous donation. Donors must have a doctor’s prescription. After receiving the prescription, donors may schedule an appointment by calling our Special Donations Office at 1-847-260-2707 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
There is no waiting period to donate after receiving a flu shot.
Yes, if you are donating whole blood. There is no waiting period from the time that you took the aspirin.
If you are donating platelets, please do not take aspirin 48 hours prior or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 12 hours prior to your scheduled donation time. Tylenol is acceptable, as it is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
For the safety of the blood supply, blood donations at LifeSource are strictly voluntary. We hope the reward for donating blood is the self-satisfaction and gratification of knowing that up to three area lives were saved thanks to you.
We contact donors who are permanently deferred.
Temporary deferrals are eligible to donate once their deferral period has expired. A short list of reasons for temporary deferral can be found on our eligibility page. This list is not complete. Please contact our Medical Help Desk (1-877-543-3768) with specific questions regarding eligibility and/or the donation process.
Prior to each donation, donors complete a mini physical and medical interview. At that time, eligibility for donating on that particular day is determined.
Replenish the Need (RTN) blood drives are drives held in honor of a person from a community who has used, or who will soon be using, blood. For example, the John Doe replenishment blood drive may be held because John Doe recently had a transplant that required 30 units of blood. John Doe’s family and friends donate to replenish the community’s blood supply.
Sometimes, these drives are confused with a directed donation, in which blood is donated directly to a person in need. When donors donate at an RTN drive, the blood goes to the community blood supply, not specifically to the recipient.
Please click here if you are interested in learning more about RTN blood drives.
A directed donation is when a family member or friend donates for a specific patient in need. The blood goes directly to the patient in need, who has requested that friends and family donate specifically for them. Blood types must be compatible between donor and intended recipient. Prior to donating, the donor must obtain a prescription from the patient’s doctor. For more information, click here.
LifeSource is not affiliated with the American Red Cross. We are an independent regional blood center servicing approximately 60 hospitals in the Chicagoland area.
We have volunteer opportunities beyond being a blood donor. For more information, or to fill out an application to become a volunteer, visit our section on Volunteers.