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Automated Donation Types
Automated blood donation allows the Blood Center to target certain blood components during donation to better meet patient needs.
How do we do that, and how does an automated donation differ from the traditional whole blood donation?
In a whole blood donation one pint of blood is collected from a donor, and then brought to our laboratory where the different blood components, red cells, platelets, and plasma, are produced through a manual spinning process.
An automated donation eliminates the manual spinning steps. A technology called "Apheresis" allows blood to be separated into its components during the donation.
While you are donating your blood, the apheresis instrument actively separates your whole blood into its three components. Because this separation happens while you donate, you only donate the component that is most in need, and receive your other components back.
The Three Types of Automated DonationsAutomated Platelets
Platelets control bleeding and are given to leukemia and cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. Blood types A, B, and AB are preferred for this donation type. Requirements for this donation include:
- You must be 18 years old (17 years of age may donate with parental permission) and in overall good health.
- You must weigh at least 110 pounds
- Aspirin or aspirin-containing medications may not be consumed for 48 hours before donating platelets. A donor may donate platelets every two weeks and either plasma and/or a red cell platelet after four to eight weeks.
Automated Red Cell
Types A, B, and O that meet the requirements are encouraged to make a double red cell donations. During the procedure two units of red cells are collected, and the platelets and plasma are returned to the donor. Double red cells may be donated every 16 weeks and are used for trauma and surgical patients. Requirements are:
After October 3, 2010 16 year olds may donate through automated procedures (aka a R2 or double red donation) as long as you have a signed parental permission slip and meet all other requirements of weight, height and health status for automated donations; otherwise;
- You must be at least 17 years old and in overall good health.
- Men must weigh 130 pounds and be at least 5'1" tall.
- Women must weigh 150 pounds and be at least 5'3" tall.
If donors do not meet the automated double red cell criteria and/or are not type O, they are still eligible for automated red cell donations by making a single red cell and plasma donation as an alternative.Automated Plasma
Plasma is used to treat victims of burns, shock or dehydration. All blood types, except O, are potential plasma donors. Donors with the type AB are considered the "universal plasma donor". Requirements for this donation type include:
- You must be at least 18 years old (17 years of age may donate with parental permission).
- You must weigh at least 110 pounds, and in overall good health.
- You should be in overall good health.