A double red cell donation is a safe, efficient way to collect two units of red blood cells in one visit. Here’s why you should consider making your next donation a double red:
Why are red blood cells so important?
Red cells carry hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that makes it possible for blood to transport oxygen. When oxygen enters the lungs, it attaches to the hemoglobin in the blood, which carries it to the tissues of the body.
Each hemoglobin protein can carry four molecules of oxygen, which each of the body’s billions of cells needs to repair and maintain itself.
When a person has insufficient red blood cells, the body is left short of oxygen it needs to function, a condition known as anemia.
Who can I help by donating double red cells?
Nearly 70% of all transfusions require red blood cells. People undergoing organ transplants or heart surgery, those with anemia, and accident and trauma patients need red cells, usually in multiple units.
Who can donate double reds?
To qualify for double red cell donation, donors must meet certain criteria, including a higher hemoglobin count. These criteria are reviewed by the phlebotomist at the time of donation.
Type O donors are particularly needed for double red cell donations. Type O- donors are universal red cell donors, meaning their red cells can be given to any patients in need of lifesaving transfusions.
What’s the donation process like?
Unlike whole blood donations, a double red cell donation is automated. At a donor center, blood is drawn and separated into its components. The red cells are collected – enough for two units – and plasma and platelets are safely returned into the donor’s system.
How long does a double red donation take?
The procedure only takes about 20 minutes longer than a whole blood donation.
Double red cell donations can be done once every 112 days, or about every four months. In only one donation, you give the same number of red cells as you would in two whole blood donations.
For more information and to schedule your next double red cell donation, call Carter BloodCare at 800-366-2834.