Appointments - Why should I make them?

NZBS works to ensure that every blood donation goes to a patient in need, and to do so this requires some very careful planning and forecasting for what the demand from the hospitals will be.

This includes looking carefully each day at the number of donors who have made appointments for the week by blood type. Blood type is very important, as this corresponds to the blood types of the patients being treated in hospitals.

Why should I make an appointment?

NZ Blood 11.06.12-80
  • You can choose a specific day and time that fits your schedule and if something does happen to come up, you have our number to contact us to reschedule
  • Appointments help us to match your blood to patients who need your blood type. 
  • When we schedule an appointment for a donor to give blood, we can see this information and can then make projections on how many more units of blood we need including the specific blood types required.
  • If we collect more blood than we need there is a chance your donation could go to waste.

Are donors with appointments given priority over a donor who hasn’t made an appointment?

Yes, donors with appointments are placed in priority. With an appointment, you can expect to be in and out in approximately an hour when making a regular blood donation. Staff will inform you at the start of the donation if your total donation time is expected to be more than an hour.

If I book an appointment, am I guaranteed that time?

We do our best to honour your appointment time. There are occasions when we may experience situations beyond our control. If there are delays, you will be informed when you arrive. We strive to keep a smooth flow so that donors are in and out within an hour.

Will you still accommodate me if I’m a few minutes late?

If you arrive late for your appointment, we will do our best to accommodate you if space is available. To ensure a smooth flow, we ask that you arrive on time for your appointment.

What does my appointment time mean?

This is the time you are booked to arrive for your appointment. It does not mean the time you are scheduled to be in the interview room or on the donation bed.

Do I need to call you if I need to cancel?

Yes, please call us! We’d be more than happy to rebook a more convenient time. In addition, by rebooking, you are helping us to fill your original time slot with another donor who has the same blood group as you. If you can’t make your appointment please notify us as soon as possible by calling 0800 448 325

Do I have to book an appointment to donate blood, or can I just show up at a donor centre/blood drive?

We would prefer and encourage donors to make an appointment as this helps us match what we collect with what is needed. We understand that not everyone is able to make an appointment so if you walk in without an appointment, we will make every effort to accommodate you. However this will depend on whether there is available bed space as we accommodate those donors who have appointments first. In some instances where we do not have bed space, the waiting time is too long or we have sufficient stock levels of your blood type, you may be asked to make an appointment for another time.

If I just show up, am I guaranteed a time to donate blood that day?

There may be open appointments available, and many of our centres do reserve some appointments to accommodate donors who just show up. However, these timeslots can fill up quickly. If you do decide to drop in to donate, our staff will advise you if there are openings in the schedule and the approximate waiting time.  We will do our best to accommodate everyone; however donors with appointments will have priority. In some instances you may be asked to reschedule for another time if we have collected enough of your blood type for that week.

How much blood do you waste?

We value every donation given, however as blood does have a short shelf life there is a small amount of wastage that occurs. Currently this sits at 4% for red blood cells, but as every whole blood donation also consists of plasma and platelets, these components do get used so your whole donation isn’t wasted.

Published on: 09 Sep 2013

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