Red cells carry oxygen to organs and tissues and are used to treat anemia and blood loss from surgery or trauma. Sixty three percent of all transfusions are red cells, and Types O+, O- and B+ are frequently in short supply. If you have one of these blood types and you qualify, you may give red cells only, two units at a time, using an automated system that returns other components to your body. There are special requirements
Automated red cell donation is double your reasons to give!
- Double red cell donors donate two units of red cells at one donation which can help two patients who need this lifesaving component.
- Double red cell donors report that they prefer the smaller needle used for their donation.
- Fluid replacement that is provided during a double red cell donation helps many donors feel even better after giving blood.
- Double red cell donations, which help twice as many patients, will only take these donors about 15 to 20 minutes longer than a routine donation.
- Double red cell donors can give twice the number of red cells in half the number of donations.
- Double red cell donors can’t donate as often. They are only eligible to donate three times a year, so they receive fewer recruitment calls than whole blood donors.
Donors with the blood types O and B can give more of the red cells our patients need most! (63 percent of all transfusions are red cells)
Platelets can also be donated via an automated system that returns other components to your body. Platelets promote clotting, and because their shelf life is very short – just five days – they are constantly needed. Platelets are most frequently used to treat cancer patients after chemotherapy, which reduces the blood’s ability to clot. They are also given to those undergoing organ transplants or other surgeries. Your platelet donation when given via automated system will allow you to donate enough for a complete patient dose – typically it would take 6 to 8 whole blood donors to do that.
Learn more about platelet donation.
If your blood type is A+, your donation is most needed in the form of platelets, and you can donate every 14 days at these donor centers.
Plasma is the watery fluid that transports cells. Plasma transfusions replace lost blood volume, help maintain blood pressure and assist in clotting. Plasma can be separated from a whole blood donation or collected as part of an automated procedure. Plasma can be frozen for up to a year and thawed for transfusion use or in the manufacture of vaccines and other lifesaving pharmaceutical products.
If your blood type is AB, your donation of plasma in conjunction with platelets is most needed.