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Types of Donations The Donation Process Blood Types Donor Qualifications Frequently Asked Questions

    Types of Donations

Volunteer Whole Blood Donations

This is the most common type of blood donation. Volunteer donations come from community members who voluntarily donate their blood to be used by anyone who is in need of a blood transfusion.

 
Each blood donation may be given to one patient as whole blood, or separated into three components (red cells, plasma, and platelets) which can be given to several different patients in need. This means each pint donated could potentially help save the lives of up to three patients.

Whole blood donors can donate for the general blood supply every eight weeks.

Click here to learn about the volunteer donation process

Click here to learn about volunteer donor requirements

Autologous Whole Blood Donations 
 


Patients may choose to have a unit of blood collected and set aside to be used in their upcoming scheduled surgery. A physician’s order is required and an appointment is necessary for autologous donations.

While donating an autologous unit is a great way to set aside a pint of blood for your surgery, it does not lessen transfusion fees. The same expenses are incurred for autologous, directed and volunteer donations. These expenses include collecting, shipping, testing, and processing the unit and are built into the transfusion fee to the patient. However, by donating for yourself, you are doing your part to save that one or two extra pints from the general supply for someone else.

Click here to learn about the autologous donation process

Directed Whole Blood Donations

Patients who are unable to donate for their own surgery may ask family members and/or close friends to donate on their behalf. If the donor meets all the criteria and their blood is the type needed, the unit will be directed for the patient’s use. If types don’t match, the unit will be put into the general supply and given to another patient who is a match. A physician’s order is required and an appointment is necessary for directed donations.

While donating a directed unit is a great way to set aside a pint of blood for a friend or family member, it does not lessen transfusion fees to the patient. The same expenses are incurred for autologous, directed and volunteer donations. These expenses include collecting, shipping, testing, and processing the unit and are built into the transfusion fee. However, by donating for a friend or family member, you are not only offering to them the precious blood they need, but also doing your part to help maintain the blood supply.

Click here to learn more about the directed donation process

Double Red Blood Cell Collection

Donors that aren’t able to stop in and donate every eight weeks may choose to “double their donation” when they do make it in. A double red blood cell donation is done to collect two pints of blood instead of one.

Double donations are similar to whole blood donations, but are done on an automated machine that collects and separates components during the draw. Double donors are eligible to donate every 16 weeks or 112 days.

Not every donor will be eligible for double donations. Qualifications for doubles include high hemoglobin/iron levels, high blood volume (based on height and weight), and an A or O blood type. If you are interested in “doubling-up” your donation, please call the blood bank to see if you will qualify!

Click here to learn more about the double red blood cell donation process

Automated Blood Collections (ABC)

ABC donations are a special way to donate the exact component(s)—red blood cells, platelets or plasma—that are needed for a patient transfusion. Automated technology, also called apheresis, is used to separate the blood into three components during the donation process. The components that are needed will be collected through a sterile-tubing set, while the remaining portion of your blood is returned to you.

The amount of platelets collected through ABC procedure is equivalent to the amount of platelets collected from 8 whole blood donations. These platelets are needed for burn victims, chemotherapy patients suffering from cancer or leukemia, as well as those who have had cardiac surgery or an organ transplant, or aplastic anemia.

These precious life-saving platelets can only be stored for five days. So in order to meet patient demand, the Dak-Minn Blood Bank must collect one or two ABC units each weekday.

ABC donations are scheduled between 9:30 am and 2:00 pm Monday-Thursdays and between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm on Fridays and are done by appointment. If you are interested in becoming an ABC donor, please contact Lisa in recruitment at (701)780-5326 or by email at mailto:recruitment@dakminnbloodbank.org.

Click here to learn about the ABC donation process

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