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Learn About Blood Donation

Whole Blood Donation

This is the most common type of donation received from our donors. The entire process takes about an hour and includes four simple steps:

  1. Complete a Donor Health Questionnaire
  2. Mini-Physical Health Screening
    1. One of our trained staff members will take your temperature, measure your blood pressure, measure your hemoglobin (iron) levels and ask questions about your form and answer any questions you have.
  3. The Donation
    1. This part typically takes less than 15 minutes
    2. Insider Tip:  The donation will go faster if you are hydrated!
    3. Insider Tip 2:  Please eat before you donate.  There is no need to fast.
  4. Refreshments
    1. We ask that you stay about 15 minutes and have some delicious snacks in our canteen area before leaving our facility.

A whole blood donation includes four components including:   

  • Red Blood Cells
  • Platelets
  • Plasma
  • White Blood Cells

After your generous blood donation is received, it travels to our testing facility where the white blood cells are removed and the remaining components are separated into units of red blood cells, platelets and plasma.  When a patient needs a transfusion, doctors typically prescribe platelets OR red cells OR plasma, which is why it is critical for the blood to be divided into the components before being shipped to patients in need.  Each time you donate whole blood you can help save up to THREE lives.

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Apheresis or Automated Blood Collection (ABC)

Apheresis is a way for our trained collection specialists to collect only a particular component of your blood for transfusion and return your remaining blood components to you safely through a sterile kit and process. Since the components are drawn into separate unit bags through a process called apheresis, it is likely that a patient will receive an automated blood donation unit faster than a whole blood donation because the separation step is skipped and the unit is able to go directly to testing. It is important to note that there are different eligibility requirements for automation donors.  You can read about the eligibility requirements here.

The Apheresis Process for a Platelet, Plasma or Red Cell Donation:

  1. Complete a Donor Health Questionnaire
  2. Mini-Physical Health Screening
    1. One of our trained staff members will take your temperature, measure your blood pressure, measure your hemoglobin (iron) levels and ask questions about your form and answer any questions you have.
  3. The Donation
    1. Whole blood flows through single-use sterile tubing into a centrifuge chamber that spins your blood and separates the blood into its various components
    2. Each component is collected into a corresponding bag
    3. The unused components and an anticoagulant are returned to the donor during a “return cycle.”
  4. Refreshments
    1. We ask that you stay about 15 minutes and have some delicious snacks in our canteen area before leaving our facility.

Automated Donation Options

Platelets

Plasma

Double Red Blood Cells