What's new in the Blood Donor Center?

Whole blood donation frequency changes

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester, Minn., will be changing its donation frequency from eight to 12 weeks. We will be the first in the United States to implement this change. See Q&A for details.

Electronic donor history questionnaire now in use

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester recently began using an electronic donor history questionnaire. Donor screening questionnaires help Blood Donor Center employees screen donors for eligibility and document this information according to federal guidelines.

Donors will be given a laptop to complete their health history questionnaire when they check in at the appointment desk.

The new paperless system facilitates the completion of the questionnaire and helps Blood Donor Center employees review, process and store all questionnaire data electronically.

Blood donors receiving tattoos, piercings from licensed businesses no longer deferred

As of April 2012, blood donors who receive tattoos or piercings from state licensed businesses (Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin) are now eligible to donate blood, as long as they meet other eligibility requirements.

Eligible 16-years-olds can donate blood in Minnesota

Eligible 16-years-olds can donate blood in Minnesota. Bring a completed parental/guardian consent form signed by a parent or guardian each time you donate.

Platelet donors needed

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center invites you to become a platelet donor. Platelets are one of the components in blood that help blood to clot. People who have leukemia, people receiving chemotherapy and babies who have severe infections all need platelets, and we need your help to maintain an adequate supply.

During platelet donation (also called automated donation or apheresis), your blood is collected and then separated into its components by a device. This device keeps the platelets and returns the rest to you. This process takes from 1 1/2 to two hours, during which you can watch TV or a movie and relax.

Read more about automated blood donation.

Mayo employees get time off with pay for blood donation

Policy B.20 in the Employee Policy Manual provides Mayo Clinic employees with up to two hours of paid time for donating blood or blood products. This policy makes it easier for Mayo employees to support our patients through blood donation during the workday (staffing and other work requirements permitting). Nonexempt employees may be allowed up to one hour time off with pay to donate whole blood or up to two hours time off with pay to donate platelets; however, this time away must be approved in advance by the supervisor.