Double Red Cell Donation
What is it?
Double red cell donation is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning your plasma and platelets to you.
Why Should I Do a Double Red Cell Donation?
You may already know about the ongoing need for blood and the importance of your donations through the American Red Cross. Whole blood donations (the regular blood donation process) contain red blood cells, platelets, plasma and white blood cells. Red blood cells are the most frequently used blood component and are needed by almost every type of patient requiring transfusion. If you meet certain criteria, double red cell donation allows you to safely donate two units of red cells during one appointment as an automated donation process. It is just as safe as whole blood donation.
How Is it Different than the Whole Blood Donation Process?
During your double red cell donation, blood is drawn from one arm and drawn through a sterile, single-use needle set to a machine. The machine separates and collects two units of red cells and then safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to you through the same arm. A step-by-step guide to the process is available on the American Red Cross website.
What are the Benefits?
- Save time and make your donation go further: If you are extremely busy, committed to donating blood and an eligible type O, A negative or B negative donor, double red cell donation may be ideal for you. Each procedure lets you give more of the product that is needed most by patients. Double red cell donation takes approximately 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation and you can donate approximately every four months.
- Feel better: With all of your platelets and plasma returned to you along with some saline, you don’t lose the liquid portion of your blood and may feel more hydrated after your donation.