Donate Double Red Cells

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What are double red cells? Whole blood is made up of three basic components; red cells, plasma, and platelets. Double red cells are two units of only red cells. 

How are double red cells collected? Through a single sterile needle some of your whole blood is removed and passed through a cell separator. The whole blood is separated into red bloods cells and plasma/platelets. The red cells are then drawn into collection bags while the cell separator returns the plasma/platelet product and saline solution to the donor. The saline solution provides volume replacement to replace the volume of blood lost by the donor.

Am I eligible to donate double red cells?

Minimum height
5'5"  5'1" 
Minimum weight  150 lbs 130 lbs 
Iron level  40% or 13.3

Why donate double red cells? 

  • For approximately 45 minutes you are able to donate 2 products in 1 visit. 
  • Better product for the patient as it reduces patient transfusion risk by reducing the number of donor exposures. 
  • 112-day deferral time between donations results in fewer phone calls and/or emails asking you to donate: longer deferral time between donations means fewer trips to the Blood Donor Center saving you time and gas. 
  • Lower total blood volume loss because you receive plasma/platelet and saline solution back. You leave more hydrated! 
  • Smaller needle.

How do I prepare? On the day of donation: 

  • Make sure you are well hydrated. 
  • Make sure you eat a meal prior to donating. 
  • Bring a photo ID with you.
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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