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Apheresis (Automated) Donation
The apheresis process allows us to remove only a portion of your blood (platelets, plasma, red cells, or white blood cells). A needle will be placed in your arm. Blood will flow through the tubing attached to the needle into a system that will collect the desired component. The remainder of your blood will be returned to you through the same arm. The process will take 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the component(s) you are donating.
Your body will replace the liquid part of your blood (called plasma) in just a few hours. The platelets and white blood cells will be replaced within 48 to 72 hours. If you donate red cells by automa-tion alone, or with platelets and plasma, the red cells will be replaced within a few weeks.
The acceptable frequency for automated donations depends on the component(s) being collected at each donation. In general, the following intervals apply:
- Platelet donation – once in a 7-day period and no more than 24 times in a rolling calendar year
- Plasma donation – every 28 days
- Red cells in conjunction with another component – every 8 weeks
- Double red cell donation – every 16 weeks
All donors are subject to maximum red cell and plasma loss limits for a rolling calendar year. These limits are determined by the Food and Drug Administration and The Blood Connection medical staff. In the rare event of a mechanical failure or damage to your red cells during your donation, we may not be able to return part of your blood. Should this occur, you might not be allowed to donate again for 8 weeks (16 weeks, if giving a double unit of red cells).
Whole Blood Donation
When donating whole blood, a needle will be placed in your arm to remove approximately one pint of your blood. The blood will flow through the tubing attached to the needle into a collection system. The process will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Your body will replace the liquid part of your blood (called plasma) in just a few hours, and the blood cells will be replaced within a few weeks. Whole blood donors can donate every 56 days