What's new in the Blood Donor Program?

Screening blood donations for Zika virus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is offering an investigational blood test that screens donations for Zika virus. This test is being used to help protect the nation’s supply of blood and blood components.

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center is taking part in evaluating this test for a research study. As such, all potential donors must read the Zika Virus Research Participant Information Sheet. (Because the information sheet is considered “proprietary information,” we cannot provide a PDF on the website. The form must be obtained in person at one of Mayo’s two donor centers or at a mobile blood drive.)

Participation in the study is voluntary, and results of all testing is confidential. If a donor’s test results show that he or she may have the Zika virus infection, the Blood Donor Center will attempt to contact the person. A donor will not be contacted if the results do not show that he or she has the Zika virus infection.

Authorization process updated

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in Rochester has updated its authorization process. As part of this process, all blood donors must sign an Authorization to Release Protected Health Information. (Eligible 16- and 17-year-old donors will need to have a parent or guardian sign their form.) This authorization is specifically for blood donors and allows Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program nurses and physicians to access specific donor-related information in an individual's medical records. If you have questions, please contact the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester at donateblood@mayo.edu or 507-284-4475.

Double red cell donors needed

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program welcomes all types of donations. But we are especially in need of double red cell donations. During donation, your blood will be collected with a smaller needle than usual, and you will be given replacement fluids. The donation process takes about 25 minutes.

Double red cell donations help us maintain our various blood-product inventory levels. Eligible donors who meet the following criteria may donate double red cells two times a year:

  • Men must be at least 5' 1" tall and weigh at least 130 pounds.
  • Women must be at least 5' 5" tall and weigh at least 150 pounds.
  • Both men and women must have
    • Hemoglobin level greater than or equal to 13.3 g/dL.
    • Blood type A or O

If you would like to schedule an appointment for a double red cell donation or you have questions, please contact the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester at us donateblood@mayo.edu or 507-284-4218. Learn more about the different types of donations here.

Lifelong donors needed

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program relies on continuous and repeat healthy donors so that we have a steady blood supply for patients in need. Blood is truly a gift of life, as it cannot be created in a laboratory. Mayo Clinic cares about our donors, their willingness to give and the patients they will help with their altruistic gift. We offer our sincere gratitude to our current donors, and we hope to engage younger individuals to become lifelong blood donors.

One of the Blood Donor Program's goals in the coming years is to engage our younger generation in the donation process. We hold blood drives at local high schools, and we encourage donors and potential donors to become lifelong participants in the Blood Donor Program.

Blood donation is a gift that can be given year-round, so if you or someone you know has been thinking about donating, please call us with any questions you may have and to set an appointment. When you donate, you are truly giving a part of yourself to help others in need, and giving throughout your lifetime may save thousands of patients' lives. Thank you.

Eligible 16-year-olds can donate blood in Minnesota

Eligible 16-year-olds can donate blood in Minnesota. Donors must have parental consent and weigh at least 110 pounds. During the appointment, donors will complete a brief health questionnaire with a Mayo Clinic health care professional to make sure blood donation is safe for both the donor and the recipient of the blood.

Prior to donation, parents/guardians must review and/or sign the following forms to allow eligible 16-year-olds to donate:

  • Zika Virus Research Participant Information Sheet (review)
  • Authorization to Release Protected Health Information (review and sign)
  • Blood Donation Consent for Minors (review and sign). This form is required to be reviewed and signed before each donation.

The Zika virus information sheet and required donation forms are available at our Hilton Building and Saint Marys Hospital locations or at a mobile blood drive. The forms can also be obtained by calling the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center at (507) 284-4475 or emailing donateblood@mayo.edu. More information about screening blood donations for Zika virus is below.

Mayo staff receive time off with pay for blood donation

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in Rochester appreciates support from supervisors to enable their staff to donate blood during work hours. The program recognizes that work must be completed first, and work areas must be well-staffed before allowing others to leave for one or two hours to donate blood.

To accommodate different work schedules, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program offers extended hours on the second Thursday of each month. Learn more about our locations and schedules here.

Blood donation is necessary and vital, enabling Mayo Clinic to save lives and provide the best, focused care to every patient. The Blood, Bone Marrow and Organ Donation and Research Study Participation policy in the Mayo Clinic Allied Health Staff Employee Policy Manual provides Mayo Clinic staff with up to two hours of paid time for donating blood or blood products. This policy makes it easier for staff 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 of time off with pay to donate whole blood or up to two hours of time off with pay to donate platelets; however, this time away must be approved in advance by their supervisor.

Sept. 15, 2017