Have questions about donating blood during COVID-19? We have created a FAQ series just for you! Watch here.
Whole Blood Donation
Most people choose to donate whole blood. The whole process takes less than one hour in total, it’s quick and easy and the donation type people are most familiar with. We will draw a pint of blood containing red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets. After your donation, whole blood is processed into 3 components for use by patients.
The minimum age you can donate whole blood is 17 or 16 with a signed parent consent. There is no maximum age.
How often can you donate whole blood?
- You can donate whole blood every 56 days/every 8 weeks.
People with the following blood types should consider donating whole blood:
Double Red Cell Donation
Double red cell donation is when we collect only your red blood cells, this is done using a process called automation or apheresis.
Red blood cells are the most needed blood component for transfusion. When you choose double red cell donation, you can safely donate enough for two red cell transfusions. That means a single donation can help two patients receive lifesaving treatment. Typical patients that need red cells are those having surgery, getting an organ transplant, and even receiving cancer treatment. People with anemia, low hematocrit levels due to cancer or kidney diseases and sickle cell disease also need red blood cells.
Red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life. That is why we need constant double red cell donations to supply the need at our local hospitals.
The minimum age you can donate double red cells is 17. There is no maximum age.
There are certain requirements to donate double red blood cells, including:
Males: Must weigh at least 130 pounds and be 5’1” or taller.
Females: Must weigh at least 150 pounds and be 5’5” or taller.
(Why is there a difference between males and females? Requirements are based on blood volume, which is typically lower in females than in males.)
How often can I donate double red cells?
- Every 112 days/3 donations a year in total.
People with the following blood types should consider donating double red cells:
Platelets are essential in saving lives at our local hospitals. Platelets are the blood cells that help control bleeding. Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days. This is why platelet donations are needed all of the time. Platelet donations are done using a process called automation or apheresis.
Did you know that cancer patients need platelets to help them heal due to the harsh effects of chemotherapy? In normal times, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are the best times to donate platelets to meet hospital needs. In times of critical need, like right now during COVID-19, the best day to donate platelets is today.
The minimum age you can donate platelets is 17. There is no maximum age.
People with the following blood types should consider donating platelets:
How often can you donate platelets?
- Approximately every 2 weeks/up to 24 times a year. If you have donated whole blood, you must wait at least 56 days before you can donate platelets.