You can donate “just red blood cells” through an apheresis donation.
Red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life. They are received by patients having surgery, organ transplants or cancer treatment. People with life-threatening conditions often need many transfusions.
By choosing to donate double red cells, you can safely donate enough for two red cell transfusions. That means a single donation can help two patients receive lifesaving treatment.
During a double red cell donation a process called apheresis draws and spins the blood to separate its component parts. The machine then removes only the red cells — immediately returning the platelets and plasma back to your body. While you’re donating, you’ll receive fluid to help keep you hydrated. The entire process takes about 90-120 minutes. There are some body weight requirements for being eligible to give double reds. Usually you must also be type O, type A- or type B- to meet donation requirements.
See who can donate.
An hour of your time could save three lives.
Every two seconds in the United States someone needs blood to survive. One in three people need a lifesaving transfusion during their lifetime. This need touches everyone—family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and the community.
Blood is a precious resource, but has a limited shelf life—only 5 days for platelets, and 42 days for red cells. That’s why it takes 800 donors a day to maintain the blood supply for the 90 hospitals we support in the Northwest.
You can donate at a center, or at one of our many mobile drives. Your donation helps people having surgeries or organ transplants, or receiving treatment for trauma. People often receive transfusions during treatment for cancer and bleeding disorders.
Donating blood is a simple process and usually takes less than an hour. You’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire about your health and travel history. Then you’ll meet a staff member for a short screening interview and quick physical examination. If you meet eligibility requirements, we’ll discuss the blood donation that best matches your blood type and current local needs. For the most common donation of whole blood the actual donation time is only about 5 to 10 minutes.
Most people feel fine after giving blood. But we want you to feel great, so eat a healthy meal within four hours before your donation. Be sure to stay hydrated before and after donation with non-caffeinated fluids. In the days after your donation, it is good to add iron-rich foods like meat, spinach and beans to your diet.
After you fill out the health history and meet with a staff member you’ll be advised about donation options for your blood type—whole blood, platelets, red cells or plasma. Then you can sit back and relax as we draw blood from your arm. Whole blood donations take about 10 minutes, while the process for giving platelets, red cells or plasma takes longer. After you’ve donated, you’ll be served a refreshment and snack, and be on your way.
To donate you must be:
Questions about eligibility
Some health conditions or medications may temporarily or permanently prevent people from donating blood. Refer to the chart below.
If you still have any questions about your eligibility and want to discuss it further, please contact us:
or call 1-800-366-2831, ext. 2543
Your gift of blood, time or money saves lives.