Many people ask us what types of blood donations they can make with Carter BloodCare and how regularly they can #GiveForLife, so we want to share information about our four most common donations. Once you know more about the types of donations available, you can work with our team to determine the most beneficial donation, based on your blood type and the community’s needs.
When people mention blood donation, they are usually referring to a ‘whole blood’ donation. We use this term when blood is being collected in its entirety to later be separated into different components in a lab.
Giving ‘red blood cells’ means the donor gives only red cells via an automated process that separates them from the platelets and plasma. The machine automatically returns platelets and plasma to your body. The number of red cells the machine collects is double that of a whole blood donation. In order to give double red blood cells, a donor must meet eligibility requirements, including a higher hematocrit count.
Similar to ‘double red’ donations, a machine electronically collects platelets by separating them from red cells, which are then safely returned to the body. The donor’s platelet count (performed in advance from a blood sample) and the flexibility in the donor’s schedule, determine whether the donor can give a single, double or triple dose of transfusable platelets via the machine.
Platelets assist in blood clotting, so they benefit a variety of patients, including those undergoing surgery, cancer treatments or trauma care. People can make platelet donations up to 26 times in a 12-month period, with a 14-day waiting period between each donation.
The plasma donation process is similar to that of platelets, in that it is collected with automation and separates this blood component from the donor, while returning the others to the donor’s body. The machine can also collect plasma in combination with platelets or red cells.
Plasma supports clotting factors in a patient’s blood to help burn victims or someone receiving a large transfusion. Donors can give plasma every 28 days.
To explore what type of donation is optimal for you based on your blood type, click here to learn more.