DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Blood donation is a voluntary procedure. You agree to have blood drawn so that it can be given to someone who needs a blood transfusion. Millions of people need blood transfusions each year. Some may need blood during surgery. Others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components. Blood donation makes all of this possible.
There are several types of blood donation:
May 30, 2014
- Whole blood. This is the most common type of blood donation, during which approximately a pint of whole blood is donated. The blood is then separated into its components — red cells, plasma, platelets.
- Platelets. This type of donation uses a process called apheresis. During apheresis, the donor is hooked up to a machine that collects the platelets and some of the plasma, and then returns the rest of the blood to the donor.
- Plasma. Plasma may be collected simultaneously with a platelet donation, or it may be collected without collecting platelets during an apheresis donation.
- Double red cells. Double red cell donation is also done using apheresis. In this case, only the red cells are collected.
- Blood FAQ. AABB. http://www.aabb.org/resources/bct/Pages/bloodfaq.aspx. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Eligibility requirements. American Red Cross. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- FAQs about donating blood. American Red Cross. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/donation-faqs. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Tips for a good donation experience. American Red Cross. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/tips-successful-donation. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Winters JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 27, 2014.
- Kleinman S. Procedures used for blood donor screening: Protection of potential blood donors and recipients. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Kleinman S. Blood donor medical history. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.