Donating Blood at Comic-Con (A.K.A. CCI Drained the Life Out of Me)

San Diego Comic Con, SDCC Tips/Info

Shortly after my plane landed in San Diego last Thursday I gave blood for the first time in my life. It was an odd experience that I have been on the fence about for a while, which I think stemmed from a childhood fear of needles. But I manned up, went in and did my duty with the intent of reporting on it for all of you as well as the free stuff I got.

The event was held across the street from the Omni in a rented out hotel banquet room and was put on and staffed by the San Diego Blood Bank. There were several steps leading up to the donation, first the paperwork which was a bit overwhelming questions wise (lots of curious questions about living in Europe and man on man sex?) but I managed to power it through with my black pen and horrible handwriting.

After the paperwork I was ushered to another person who them punched in my information. She wasn’t very talkative but that’s fine. From there I had to get my blood pressure taken and also get my finger pricked so they could run a few quick tests on the blood sample (I forgot exactly what they looked for). Then I went to get my label put on to my blood packs and vials (as seen above).

After that IT. WAS. ON. Well, not exactly. I had to wait in another room where all of the blood was being pumped and though the wait was not that long we had to keep shifting seats over towards the front of the line as people moved on and those funny looking chairs became free. THEN it was on.

It was relatively painless aside from a little prick as the needle went into the skin THEN was pushed into place in the vein. I just sat there and watched other people walking about at this point and texted my girlfriend as I had a number of plans immediately following this event. Then it was done. It was really no big deal and was practically painless. I think I was more bored than anything since I had no one to talk to and was still tired from my 7AM EST plane ride.

But I did get something cool which I only wanted so I could give to my girlfriend.

Apparently every year those who donate at the con receive a thank you gift bag with an exclusive True Blood shirt and also some stylized True Blood band-aids that look like they are covering fresh fang bites. But free shit aside, I highly recommend that everyone give whenever you can. You never know how many life can be saved with your generous donations.

Also, they were cool enough to give me some information on my blood including type, cholesterol, as well as my blood pressure. As someone who had no clue what my blood type was I am happy to report that I am a AB+ which is apparently pretty good? Also my cholesterol is right on the healthy line and my blood pressure is LOW (but not unhealthy) which is shocking considering the years of crap that I marathon ate while getting no exercise.

I know a lot of you would do this for the free True Blood stuff so we will be posting the information for next year as soon as it is available.


  • I’ve given blood in NC before and I almost pass out each time. When I gave blood at SDCC I never felt sick, the whole process was done in half the time I’m used to and the staff was very nice. I was so impressed I’m going to just do it there every year.

  • I used to love giving blood. Unfortunately for me, between tattoos and a permament allergy medicine regimin, it’s become difficult (I have a perpetual runny nose, something they frown on).

    They test your iron levels when they prick your finger and those with AB+ blood type are able to receive blood from anyone regardless of their blood type (although AB is the preferable). In comparison, someone with O- can only receive blood from a donor with O- blood as well.

  • Ivd given blood for the past 5 years. They used to have much cooler stuff in the giveaway bags, but that hasn’t really dettered me. Even if they do away with them, my 10am Sunday morning appt is a tradition I can’t go back on now. Its nice to get a relaxing nap and some free breakfast to start off the end of the con.

  • Thanks to you and all of the 1,269 blood donors who gave at the 35th Annaul Robert A. Heinlein Comic-Con Blood Drive! This year the overall total number of pints donated topped 11,000. Lives depend on it.

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