Your blood will be tested to determine your blood type — classified as A, B, AB or O — and your Rh factor. The Rh factor refers to the presence or absence of a specific antigen, a substance capable of stimulating an immune response, in the blood. So you're either Rh positive or Rh negative, meaning you carry the antigen or you don't. This information is important because your blood type and Rh factor must be compatible with the blood type and Rh factor of the person receiving your blood.
Your blood will also be tested for bloodborne diseases, such as hepatitis, HIV and syphilis. If these tests are negative, the blood is distributed for use in hospitals and clinics. If any of these tests are positive, the blood bank notifies you, and your blood is discarded and not used.
May. 26, 2011
- Blood FAQ. AABB. http://www.aabb.org/resources/bct/Pages/bloodfaq.aspx. Accessed March 2, 2011.
- Eligibility requirements. American Red Cross. http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements. Accessed March 2, 2011.
- FAQs about donating blood. American Red Cross. http://www.givelife2.org/donor/faq.asp. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Tips for a good donation experience. American Red Cross. http://www.givelife2.org/donor/tips.asp. Accessed March 4, 2011.
- Winters JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 7, 2011.