X

Types of Donations

Blood transfusions are used to treat accident victims, organ and marrow transplant recipients, cancer and heart surgery patients and those with blood-related diseases like sickle cell anemia. All blood types are needed to support the community blood supply. Often the most common blood types are the most frequently transfused.

Your blood donation and its component parts help to save and enhance the lives of patients in our community and beyond.

Whole Blood

A whole blood donation is the traditional way of donating blood.

About one pint of blood is collected during a whole blood donation into a specialized sealed and sterile bag. Samples from every donation are sent to our laboratory for typing and testing. Using state-of-the-art technology, multiple tests are conducted on the blood including hepatitis, West Nile virus and HIV. When the blood is cleared, it is separated in to three different blood components – red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Within just a few days, the donor’s blood is sent to local hospitals for transfusion.


Red Cells

Save more lives by donating red cells!

Red cell donations are needed every day for trauma victims, newborn babies and those with serious anemia. And there is no substitute for it.

How does it work?

While you’re donating, a cell separator spins the blood and separates out some of your red cells. All your other blood components are immediately and safely returned to you. You will also receive replacement fluid during the donation which will help rehydrate you.

Why are red cells needed?

Oxygen-rich red blood cells are most often used for surgery or trauma patients. Donors who donate just their red blood cells through pheresis can double the amount of red blood cells donated at one time. There is a 112-day deferral period between red cell donations, and donors are eligible to give only three double red cell donations per year.

How long does it take?

Donating red cells takes about 30 minutes; however, donors save more lives with fewer visits! Please note that certain height and weight restrictions apply. 

More points for red cell donors!

Red cell donors receive 300 Hero Reward Points for every donation they make. Schedule an appointment online and receive 100 extra points. Bonus points may also be awarded at certain times of the year.


Platelets

Platelets are the component of blood that stops bleeding.

Who needs platelets?

Platelet donations are needed every day and are used in large quantities and over extended periods of time by leukemia, cancer, aplastic anemia and marrow transplant patients. Because platelets only have a shelf life of 5 days, they are used immediately so we are always in great need.

Who can be a platelet donor?

If you meet the requirements for donating blood, you probably can give platelets. Depending on your platelet count, some platelet donors may donate as often as every two weeks. Platelet donors must not have taken aspirin or medication containing aspirin 48 hours prior to donating.

Are platelet donations safe?

Absolutely! Like all blood donations, all the collection supplies are sterile and single-use and are discarded after each donation. Platelet collections use a smaller needle than traditional blood donations. You will also receive replacement fluid during the donation which will help rehydrate you.

How does a platelet donation work?

While you’re donating, a cell separator spins the blood and separates out some of your platelets. All your other blood components are immediately and safely returned to you.

How long does it take?

Depending on your height and weight, platelet donations will take approximately two hours. During the donation you will have access to an iPad and free wifi.

Any perks for donating platelets?

Yes! You’ll earn 100 Hero Reward Points for each platelet donation. Bonus points may also be awareded at certain times of the year.


Plasma

Plasma is the liquid part of blood which provides volume and includes important clotting factors and proteins. Blood type AB is the universal plasma type.

Who needs plasma?

Plasma is used in the treatment of bleeding, clotting problems and trauma. It can also be transfused to help organ transplant recipients and premature infants.

Who can be a plasma donor?

If you have been pregnant or received a blood transfusion, we ask you to donate double red cells or whole blood. The reason for this is to reduce the risk of a serious transfusion reaction in patients known as TRALI.

If you have not been pregnant or received a transfusion and meet the requirements for donating blood, you probably can give plasma. Plasma donors must not have taken aspirin or medication containing aspirin 48 hours prior to donating.

Is it safe?

Absolutely! Like all blood donations, all the collection supplies are sterile and single-use and are discarded after each donation. Plasma collections use a smaller needle than a traditional blood donation. You will also receive replacement fluid during the donation which will help rehydrate you.

How does a plasma donation work?

While you’re donating, a cell separator spins the blood and separates out some of the plasma. All your other blood components are immediately and safely returned to you.

How long does it take?

Depending on your height and weight, the plasma donation will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes. During the donation you will have access to an iPad and free wifi.

Any perks for donating plasma?

Yes! 100 Hero Reward Points for each plasma donation. Bonus points may also be awarded at certain times of the year.