Blood Donation Collection Procedures
Two methods of blood collection exist:
This is what most individuals think of when they hear “blood donation.” A pint of whole blood is drawn into a plastic bag, and is processed in the blood center laboratory and separated into components (red blood cells, plasma, and sometimes platelets and cryoprecipitate). Red blood cells can be stored for up to 42 days after processing.
An apheresis blood donation is the process of blood collected via a special machine to separate it during the donation, so that only certain parts of the blood are collected and the remainder returned to the donor. This allows more of a single component, such as red blood cells or platelets, to be collected in one sitting.
Learn more about types of Apheresis Collections below:
Blood Donation Types:
The standard or most common type of blood donation in which an individual donates one pint, which goes to any patient in need.
Blood drawn from an individual prior to elective, non-urgent surgery during which loss of a lot of blood is expected. The donated units are stored for up to 42 days and given back to the same individual when and if a need for transfusion arises. This is very useful for patients with rare blood types who can be very hard to support from the regular blood supply. Autologous donors must be healthy enough to donate safely, so this is rarely an option for seriously ill patients.