|Types of Donations
||One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma.
In order to maximize your donation and effectively match it with the needs of our patients, we have several options for donating.
This refers to the traditional donation process where half a liter of blood is collected from an individual donor into a sterile bag. The blood is later separated into red blood cells, platelets and plasma. These components are given to patients suffering from leukemia or hemophilia, accident victims, patients undergoing chemotherapy or patients who have lost blood during surgery. The need for blood always exceeds the available supply; therefore, there is a constant need for whole blood donors.
Apheresis (Automated Donation):
Aperhesis (ay-fer-EE-sis) is a special blood donation that separates blood components while the blood is drawn instead of in a laboratory following the donation. This technology allows donors to maximize their donations by focusing on the donation of one or more specific blood components at a given time.
Platelets/Plasma/Red Cells: During this donation a cell separating machine removes specified blood components from the blood and returns the remaining blood components back to the donor. For example, depending on a donor’s blood volume and platelet count, up to three transfusable doses of platelets may be collected during one procedure. These platelets are most commonly used to support patients undergoing treatment for cancer or leukemia. The time of the actual donation can range from 45 minutes to 2 hours. This procedure is currently only done at the Blood Center’s main collection facility at 209 North Padre Island Drive.
Red Cell Automation or “Double” Red Donation: This refers to an apheresis process that collects two transfusable units of red blood cells during a single donation and returns the remaining blood components back to the donor. More than 60% of all transfusions are red blood cells, making this a vital program for patients of the Coastal Bend. The procedure takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes longer than a traditional whole blood donation and is available at our main collection facility and on select bloodmobile drives.
Red Cell Automation Criteria is:
- Hematicrit level of 13.3 gm/dl
- Male Donors 5'1" and 130lbs or more
- Female Donors 5'5" and 150lbs or more