Did you know when you choose to donate blood at donation centers; there are different types of donations you can give?

The best type of donation for each individual depends on their blood type, physical characteristics, personal preferences, gender and the availability of convenient donation. Giving the right type of donation helps ensure the best use of your valuable contribution.

Donation of ‘whole blood’ is the most common type of blood donation, but there are a few other ways to save a life by giving blood. The Different types of Blood Donations include:

  1. Whole blood
  2. Platelets
  3. Plasma Donation
  4. Double Red cells

Whole Blood Donation

This is the most common type of donation, during which approximately a unit of ‘whole blood’ is given. The blood is separated into components – red cells, plasma, platelets. This type of blood donation usually takes about an hour.

During a whole blood donation about a pint of blood is drawn into a specialized sealed and sterile bag. Samples from every donation are sent to a laboratory, 11 different tests are conducted on the blood including hepatitis and HIV. The value of a whole blood donation is that you help to save three lives! The red blood cells are often necessary to treat surgery patients, car accidents and other types of traumas.

Eligibility Criteria: To give blood you must be at least 18 years of age, weigh at least 50 kgs, be in good health, fit and not suffering from any transmittable diseases and have eaten prior to donating. There are four basic steps in the whole blood donation process: registration, medical history, donation, and rest & refreshments.

You are eligible to donate ‘whole blood’ every 56 days.


A platelet transfusion can be the difference between life and death. Conditions such as leukemia, dengue and medical treatments like chemotherapy can decrease a person’s platelet count.

If the number of platelets becomes too low, spontaneous bleeding can occur. Even a small amount of bleeding can be dangerous, particularly if it occurs in the brain. Platelets aid in clotting to prevent or stop bleeding.

During a platelet donation, whole blood is drawn from one arm into a sterile kit inside a cell-separating machine. The machine separates the blood so that only platelets and plasma are collected. The other blood components (red cells and white cells) are returned to the donor via the same arm. The process is repeated until enough platelets are collected. This can take an average of a little over an hour.

A normal whole blood donation contains a small number of platelets which can be separated into a “platelet concentrate”. However, 4-8 times as many platelets can be derived from just one platelet donation.

Have plenty of liquid in the 24 hours prior to donation, especially in warm weather, and drink at least 3 good-sized glasses of water/juice in the 3 hours before visiting the Blood Donation Center. Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days, so platelet donors are constantly needed.

If you meet the requirements for donating blood, you probably can give platelets. Platelet donors must not have taken aspirin or medication containing aspirin 48 hours prior to donating.

Also Read: How my son motivated me to donate blood?

If you are a healthy donor you are eligible to donate ‘platelets’ every 2 weeks.


During a plasma apheresis donation, the blood is collected by a machine, which separates the plasma, red cells and platelets and returns the red cells and/or platelets back to the donor. Nearly 500 different types of proteins have been found in human blood plasma. Approximately 150 of these may be used for diagnosing disease or manufacturing therapies.

The plasma may be collected simultaneously with a platelet donation and is collected at select Blood Donation Centers only.

The donation takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

To donate plasma, donors must meet all of the requirements for whole blood donation. Donors who are blood group AB+ are special plasma donors because they are universal plasma donors.

Plasma helps blood to clot; Plasma is used to treat patients with bleeding disorders, burn victims, organ transplants and premature infants. While plasma regenerates very quickly (usually within 24-48 hours) and plasmapheresis has few to no adverse effects, it is important to take care of yourself after your donation. Having something to eat and drink within two hours after your donation helps replenish your blood volume and restore your energy.

If Donor is healthy, he is eligible to donate ‘plasma’ every 4 weeks / 28 days.


Double red cell donation is done with the help of an apheresis machine which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor.

Red cells are the most transfused blood component, and certain blood types are often in short supply. Double red cell donations from Type O negative (O-) blood types play a very important role in maintaining blood supply levels. Donors need to meet slightly higher hemoglobin and body height/weight requirements in order to be able to give a double red cell donation. Double red cell donations take approximately 45 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and allow you to give two units of red cells. Donors are eligible to give double red cells every 112 days.

Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood. Red cell donations are needed every day for trauma victims, new-born babies and those with serious anemia. And there’s no substitute for it. While you’re donating, a cell separator spins the blood and separates out some of your red cells. All your other blood components are immediately and safely returned to you.

Double red blood cell donation allows you to donate twice the amount of red blood cells than you normally would during a whole blood donation.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Donors must be at least 20 years
  • Weigh at least 60 kgs.

After processing, the red blood cells can be stored for up to 42 days.

The donor is eligible to “Double Red Cells” every 112 days. During this time, you cannot make other types of blood donations.

To Register as a Voluntary Blood Donor or for Blood Requirement visit vmedo.com or call 093431 80000.


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