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What can you donate?

Giving blood creates a community of caring.

Blood is life. Our health and survival depend upon an ample flow of healthy blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to our vital organs and to every part of our body. There are several ways to donate, depending on what works best for you.

The most common is a whole blood donation, which usually takes less than one hour in total. You can do apheresis donations of platelets, plasma, or double red cells – a process that takes 90 – 120 minutes. Generally speaking, eligibility for donating platelet, plasma or double reds cell is the same as for whole blood. We can help you determine what type of donation can help patients most.

Blood (whole blood)

Most people donate whole blood. It is quick and easy. It usually takes less than an hour in total. After collection, whole blood is processed into 3 components for use by patients. Red cells carry oxygen to organs and tissue. Platelets promote blood clotting. And plasma is the fluid that carries blood cells throughout the body, and also contains proteins that help clotting.

How does it work?

Whether you donate at a mobile drive or at a center, your experience will involve the same steps.

The process is easy and safe. Bring photo id with you. You will be registered, and fill out a questionnaire to confirm that you are eligible to donate that day. After a short interview and health check with the technician, you will be on the cot for your donation. We collect about one pint of blood in a sterile bag. Afterwards, you’ll be invited to refreshments, and then be on your way.

Your donation is then tested at our lab, and separated into its three component parts—red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Within 24 hours, the blood components are in local hospitals for patients in need. You can safely donate a unit of whole blood once every 56 days — or up to six times a year. See who can donate.

Platelets

Platelets are cells in your blood that control bleeding.

You can donate “just platelets” through an apheresis donation.

Platelets have only a 5-day shelf life, so they are always needed. Platelets are used by patients having surgery, organ transplants or cancer treatment. People with life-threatening conditions often need many transfusions.  Your body replenishes platelets very quickly — you can donate every 7 days or up to 24 times per year.

By choosing to donate platelets, you can safely donate six times the volume of platelets that is collected in a whole blood donation. See who can donate.

How does it work?

During a platelet donation a process called apheresis draws and spins the blood to separate its component parts. The machine then removes only the platelets — immediately returning the red cells and plasma back to your body. While you’re donating, you’ll receive fluid to help keep you hydrated. The entire process takes from one to two hours.

How can I donate platelets?

Call Bloodworks’ Apheresis Program at 425-453-5098 or 10800-398-7888 for more information or to make an appointment.

Find out more about platelets.

Double Red Cells

Red cells carry oxygen to organs and tissue.

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.

How does it work?

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.

Find out more about double red cells.

Plasma

Plasma is the liquid part of blood which carries red cells and platelets throughout the body, and also includes important a blood clotting factors.

You can donate “just plasma” through an apheresis donation.

Plasma is used in the treatment of burns, shock, trauma, medical emergencies — as well as bleeding disorders and neurological disease.  People with life-threatening conditions often need many transfusions. Your body replenishes plasma very quickly — you can actually donate twice in 7 days with two days between donations.

By choosing to donate plasma, you can safely donate enough for two red cell transfusions. That means one donation can touch the lives of as many as six people in need.

Blood type AB is the universal plasma type. That means it can be given to patients in emergencies when their blood type is unknown, but they need immediate transfusion.

People of any blood type who meet the standard donation requirements can donate plasma. See who can donate. 

How does it work?

During a plasma donation a process called apheresis draws and spins the blood to separate its component parts. The machine then removes only the plasma — immediately returning the red cells and platelets back to your body. While you’re donating, you’ll receive fluid to help keep you hydrated. The entire process takes about 1.5 hours.

How can I become a plasma donor?

If you live in Western Washington, call Bloodworks’ Apheresis Program at 425-453-5098 or 1-800-398-7888 for more information or to make an appointment.

Find out more about plasma.

Cord Blood

Umbilical cord blood is collected right after the safe delivery of a newborn baby is complete. Stem cells recovered from the cord blood help patients worldwide.

Our Cord Blood Program was s the first and only public program in the Northwest. Stem cells recovered from cord blood can be lifesaving for patients receiving cancer treatment or suffering from immune disorders.

How does it work?

Cord blood collection is a completely painless procedure that does not interfere with the childbirth or mother-child bonding after delivery. Healthcare providers in the delivery room collect the umbilical cord and quickly send it to our special lab for processing. Frozen stem cells have a very long shelf life.

As an expectant mom, how can I become a cord blood donor?

Families interested in donating cord blood should speak to their healthcare provider or contact the Bloodwork’s Cord Blood Program to make arrangements.

Find out more about cord blood.

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We are an independent community-based nonprofit organization. Support our life saving research with a financial gift.

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