Types of Donations
There are multiple ways to save lives in our community by making several different types of blood donations:
- Whole Blood Donation
- Apheresis Donation
- Double Red Cell Donation
- Platelet Donation
- Plasma Donation
What is a whole blood donation?
For a whole blood donation, about a pint of blood is collected and separated into two components: plasma, and red blood cells. The value of a whole blood donation is that you help save two lives! The red blood cells are often necessary to treat surgery patients and those rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, car accidents and other types of traumas. You can donate whole blood every 8 weeks.
What is apheresis?
Apheresis is an automated donation process that allows you to selectively donate only the blood components that are needed most, with the remaining blood being returned to you. The process takes longer than donating whole blood and depending on the components donated can last 90 minutes. The entire procedure uses sterile, single use needles just as in a whole blood donation. The blood components that can be donated through apheresis are: red blood cells, platelets and plasma
Red cells are the blood component needed most by hospitals. When an individual donates whole blood, Community Blood Center separates a single unit of red blood cells using manual procedures in the laboratory. Through apheresis two units of red cells can be collected with no side effects to the donor. You can donate a double unit of red cells every 16 weeks.
Platelets can only be collected through apheresis and help patients who suffer from leukemia, cancer, aplastic anemia and other blood disorders. These patients often require multiple platelet donations.
Plasma contains vital clotting factors and is often needed by burn victims and patients with hematological disorders.
Reasons to donate through apheresis:
- You will maximize your ability to help others without extra visits to donate.
- You will help Community Blood Center better match your donation to the needs of patients.
- You will help stabilize the blood inventory, especially in times when blood donations are needed most.
Target Your Donation
Watch our video to learn more about becoming a platelet donor.
State-of-the-art technology for more donation choices
Automated blood collection equipment allows the Community Blood Center to offer donors more choices than ever for blood donation. This technology lets donors provide red cells, fresh frozen plasma and/or platelets in combinations not previously possible. The separation of the red cells, platelets and plasma occurs during the donation process, and the remaining blood components are returned to the donor.
What are the advantages of automated blood collection?
Increases flexibility for donors - Donors can give red cells, platelets, plasma or various combinations of all three. With the previous technology, platelet donors could give only platelets. Now they can provide red cells and plasma during a single donation. Whole blood donation delivers only a fraction of the platelets needed for a transfusion, but automated blood collection allows the donor to give enough platelets for a complete transfusion. Components must be separated from the whole blood before they can be transfused to a patient. Automated blood collection performs the separation during the donation, which takes only about an hour, allowing Community Blood Center to more effectively respond to the needs of the hospitals and patients in the community.
Are there special requirements for automated blood donors?
The requirements for automated blood collection are unique for each process. During your next visit to the CBC, we encourage you to ask about automated blood collection and the advantages this technology provides to a donor.
Note: The automated blood collection donation procedure takes longer than that for whole blood donation. A whole blood donation takes about 10–20 minutes to collect the blood, while an apheresis donation may take about one to two hours.
To learn more about Apheresis or to schedule an apheresis donation appointment please call us at (877) 468-6844.