Lakeland Health Care

Blood Donation Service

The blood needed by patients at all Lakeland facilities is provided by Michigan Blood, a non-profit community blood bank. Michigan Blood conducts mobile blood drives throughout Southwest Michigan and also welcomes blood donors at its permanent facility at 2710 Cleveland Avenue in St. Joseph.

Although appointments are preferred, walk-in blood donors are also welcome. You may be eligible to give blood every 56 days if you are a healthy person age 17 or older (or 16 with parent's/guardian's consent), weighing 110 pounds or more.  With a doctor’s order, people also may donate at a Michigan Blood facility for their own use (autologous blood donation) or for another specific individual (directed blood donation). 

Our regular donation hours at 2710 Cleveland Avenue are Tuesdays from noon-7pm. To schedule a donation appointment, call (269) 408-1540; or call toll-free 1-866-MIBLOOD and press the menu option for “Southwest Michigan.”

Blood Drive Calendar

The Lakeland Auxiliaries, together with Michigan Blood, sponsor regular blood drives at 5 Lakeland locations approximately every eight weeks:

Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph: call the volunteer office at 269-985-4548
Lakeland Community Hospital, Watervliet: call the volunteer office at 269-463-2211
Lakeland Community Hospital, Niles: call the volunteer office at 269-687-1433
Marie Yeager Cancer Center, St. Joseph: call the volunteer office at 269-556-2880
Lakeland Healthcare, Meadowbrook: call the volunteer office at 269-927-5631

Blood Donation Facts

Giving blood takes only a short time. The average donor visit is approximately one hour, including registration, a pre-donation screening, 7-10 minute blood draw, and visit to the post-donations station.

An estimated one in seven people who enter the hospital will need blood. Michigan Blood needs to collect more than 120,000 blood donations each year to meet the needs of Michigan hospitals. 

You cannot get AIDS or any other infectious disease from the act of donating blood. The equipment used to collect blood is sterile and used only for your single donation. Michigan Blood performs 12 different tests, nine of which detect infectious diseases, on each unit of blood that is donated.

Donation Restrictions

You may have to wait to donate blood under the following circumstances:

  • Allergies – You may donate if symptoms are under control.
  • Colds & Flu – Wait until you have no fever and you feel well.
  • Dental Work – Wait 2 to 6 weeks after major procedures; OK after fillings and cleanings if symptom-free.
  • Infectious Diseases – Check with our Donor Services staff if exposed to any contagious disease (measles, chicken pox, mumps, mononucleosis, whooping cough) in the past 4-6 weeks.
  • Pregnancy – Wait 6 weeks after delivery or interrupted pregnancy.
  • Ear Piercing – You may donate if piercing was done with a disposable device (single-use sterile process) or in a doctor’s office; otherwise, wait 12 months.
  • Tattoos/Body Piercing – Wait 12 months if you received artwork or body piercing at a non-licensed facility. Otherwise, bring record of tattoo session or piercing when donating. The record should contain: Your name, address, date of birth, and signature of artist; procedure date; design of tattoo, location on body of tattoo or body piercing; name of the individual performing tattooing or piercing; and any known complications you have had with any previous body art procedures. (go to for more details)
  • Travel: Some regions are at risk for malaria.
  • Syphilis or gonorrhea – Wait 12 months after treatment.
  • Skin Infections – Wait until wounds or burns are healed and infection-free.
  • Medications – Many are acceptable but you must know the exact name.
  • Vaccinations – Flu / can donate; other vaccinations / check with Donor Services staff.
  • Past Deferrals – Please try again because changes in donor criteria may make you eligible now.

You may not donate blood if:

  • You have AIDS, a positive HIV test, some blood diseases, or epilepsy.
  • You have chronic lung, liver, or heart disease.
  • You have had hepatitis.
  • You have spent a total of 3 months in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996.

Donating Blood for Your Own Use (Autologous) and Directed Donations

Your physician can help you determine how best to supply your blood needs. In addition to receiving blood from the blood bank, two other options are available for consideration:

  • Donating blood for your own future use; or,
  • Arranging for directed donations from individuals of your choosing.

A doctor’s order and a donation appointment are required for either of these options. If you wish to donate blood for your own use, or have other individuals donate specifically for you, call Michigan Blood Donor Services at (269) 408-1540 (or toll-free 1-866-MIBLOOD, menu option “Southwest Michigan”) for complete details and instructions.

Autologous Donation
Giving blood for your own future use is called autologous (aw-TAH-luh-gus) donation. Your physician may suggest, or you may wish, to do this before you have an elective surgery or other procedures where you may require a transfusion. Having your own blood available reduces the risk of infections or other side effects that may result from receiving another person’s blood.

For autologous donations, your physician must send a special request to Michigan Blood. The request must include details such as the date of the surgery or other procedure, as well as how much blood needs to be donated. Donations of blood for your own use must be made one to six weeks before your scheduled surgery date. In compliance with federal regulations, autologous donations must be destroyed if you do not use them. Donor Services staff at Michigan Blood can provide complete details and instructions: call (269) 408-1540 (or toll-free 1-866-MIBLOOD, menu option “Southwest Michigan”).

Directed Donation
Giving blood to be used by a specific individual is called directed donation. This allows the person who needs blood to select specific individual blood donors.

For directed donation your physician must send a special request to Michigan Blood, specifying blood type, how many units are to be collected, and the date of the surgery or procedure when the blood is to be used. You are responsible for asking the special people you would like to donate blood for you. They must have blood types compatible with yours and know their blood type before donating.

It is best to choose individuals who have donated blood before or whose behaviors do not put them at risk for infectious disease, which can be transmitted through blood. Blood must be donated three days to five weeks before the date it is expected to be used. Blood given by directed donors will be used to care for other patients if you do not need it. Donor Services staff at Michigan Blood can provide complete details and instructions: call (269) 408-1540 (or toll-free 1-866-MIBLOOD, menu option “Southwest Michigan”).

About Michigan Blood

An independent, nonprofit blood bank committed to serving Michigan hospitals first, Michigan Blood operates permanent blood donation sites and mobile blood drives across the Lower Peninsula. Michigan Blood also operates Michigan’s first public cord blood bank, blood stem cell (marrow) program, and other related services. More information:



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    Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph  
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