Though in common parlance, blood donation means whole blood donation, there are other types like donation of Platelets, Double Red cells and Plasma. The best type of donation often depends on the availability of specific facilities, blood type, physical characteristics and personal preferences.
The most common type of donation, during which a pint (around 470 ml) of 'whole blood' is given.
The blood can be used for whole blood transfusion or can be separated into its transfusable components – red cells, plasma, platelets and / or cryoprecipitated AHF.
This type of blood donation usually takes about an hour, though the actual donation takes about 8-10 minutes.
You are eligible to donate 'whole blood' every 56 days (8 weeks), though it is ideally advised to donate blood again only after 3 months of a donation.
Double Red Blood Cells:
Double red cell donation is done in specific centers having an apheresis machine which collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. Red cells are the most transfused blood component, and certain blood types are often in short supply. Double red cell donations from O blood group donors and Rh negative donors are especially important.
Double red cell donations take approximately half an hour longer than a whole blood donation and allow you to give two units of red cells.
You can donate double red cells every 112 days.
Platelet donations can be done only at select Blood Donation centers in UAE.
During this type of donation, an apheresis machine collects the platelets and some plasma and returns the red cells and most of the plasma back to the donor.
A single donation of platelets collected by apheresis can constitute one or several transfusable units, while it takes about four to six whole blood donations to constitute a single transfusable unit of platelets.
The donation takes approximately one and a half to two and a half hours.
Plasma is usually collected simultaneously with a platelet donation and is collected only at select Donation Centers in the UAE.
During a plasma apheresis donation, the blood is collected by a machine, which separates the plasma, red cells and platelets and returns the red cells and / or platelets back to the donor.
While donors with Type AB blood can only give red cells to other Type AB recipients, they are the Universal plasma donors as they are free of any antibodies against blood antigens. The ‘right type’ donation for AB donors may be an apheresis donation of plasma or plasma and platelets.
The donation takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.