Do You Know Your Blood Type?
Each unit of blood collected is tested to determine "ABO" type and "Rh type". While all types are needed, individuals with type O blood are called universal donors because their blood can be given to almost anyone. Similarly, Rh-negative blood can also be given to patients who are Rh-negative or Rh-positive.
To ensure the safety of the blood supply, we are required by the federal government to thoroughly test each unit for the presence of any sign of infectious disease. If testing shows a potential problem, we will contact you by phone or letter to let you know what you need to do. Blood that tests positive for infectious disease will not be used for transfusion.
What Products Can Be Made From My Donation?
Whole blood donations can be processed to make at least 3 different blood products, potentially providing life-saving help to 3 different patients. If you are interested in making an even bigger difference in someone's life, consider donating platelets.
How Much Blood Is Used?
Blood is routinely used to help trauma victims, surgery and cancer patients in our community. Some patients may only need a single blood transfusion, while others could require 60 pints or more.
Platelet donation, also known as platelet pheresis, is the process by which a small percentage of donor platelets are harvested.
Platelets play an important role in forming clots to help stop bleeding. The donated units are most often used by patients with blood-related cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, those undergoing chemotherapy as well as heart surgery and trauma patients.
While 1 donation is often enough to help 2 patients, the donor has plenty of platelets remaining for his or her well-being. Donation takes approximately 90 minutes.
Since platelets can only be kept for a maximum of 5 days after collection (as opposed to 42 days for blood), platelet shortages are a common problem.