What's new in the Blood Donor Program?

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 Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, 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:

  • Males must be at least 5 feet 1 inch tall and weigh at least 130 pounds (59 kilograms).
  • Females must be at least 5 feet 5 inches tall and weigh at least 150 pounds (68 kilograms).
  • 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 Donation Program at donateblood@mayo.edu or 507-284-4475.

Lifelong donors needed

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program relies on continuous and repeat healthy donors so that it has a steady blood supply for people 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 people 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 lives. Thank you.

Eligible 16-year-olds can donate blood in Minnesota

Eligible 16-year-olds can donate blood in Minnesota. Donors must have the consent of a parent or guardian and weigh at least 110 pounds (about 50 kilograms). 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.

Before donation, a parent or guardian must review and sign the following form to allow an eligible 16-year-old to donate:

These required donation forms are available by:

  • Clicking on links above and printing the forms
  • Emailing donateblood@mayo.edu
  • Calling the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program at 507-284-4475
  • Obtaining copies at one of the donation center locations or a mobile blood drive

Screening blood donations for Zika virus

The Food and Drug Administration approved a test that screens donations for Zika virus infection. This test is intended for use by blood collection establishments to detect the virus in blood donations, not for the individual diagnosis of Zika virus.

All samples will be tested for the Zika virus. Results are confidential. If a donor's test results show a possible Zika virus infection, the Blood Donor Program will attempt to contact the person. A donor will not be contacted if the results do not indicate a Zika infection.

Mayo staff receive time off with pay for blood donation

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in Rochester, Minnesota, 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.

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). 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 supervisors.