The Blood Connection collection process uses a system called TRIMA® to collect platelets, red cells and/or plasma all during one visit. The Blood Connection was the first blood center in South Carolina to use this leading edge equipment.
TRIMA helps us to better meet the needs of the hospitals we serve. If the inventory is low on a certain blood type or component, or if the hospitals need a certain component, this need can be met quicker because only one donor is required, instead of two or three. With TRIMA, one to eight transfusion doses can be safely collected from one donor as opposed to one to three transfusion doses using the current method of collecting whole blood.
Blood is drawn from the arm and channeled through continuous, sterile, single-use tubing to an automated system. TRIMA separates and collects the needed component(s) and then safely returns the remaining components to the donor.
One donor may donate any of the following combinations of blood components during one visit:
- Platelets, one unit of red cells, and plasma
- Platelets and one unit of red cells
- Plasma and one unit of red cells
- Two units of red cells: Another donation opportunity for donors is the collection of two red cell units. Although two transfusable doses of red cells are collected, less body fluid volume is collected than when giving whole blood. This is because only red cells are collected; plasma and platelets are returned to the donor. Throughout the collection process, a saline replacement is given to the donor to replace what is being lost. Most donors say they feel better after giving two units of red cells than when they donate regular whole blood. Two units of red blood cells can be donated every 112 days.
- Since the donations are based on individual donor information (height, weight, and blood counts), the collection times vary. The collection of platelets takes 1 to 1½ hours, whereas two units of red cells take approximately 30 minutes.