How To Donate

photo (68)In less than one hour, blood donors can save up to three lives. Donation usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to give blood, from registration through snacks. It’s safe and simple!

To give blood, you must be 17 years or older and present a picture ID that shows date of birth. Sixteen year olds can donate with the parent permission slip – available here. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and feel healthy, with no cold or flu symptoms.

There is a very short list of medicines which keep you from donating provided by the Federal Drug Administration here. Recent surgeries or illnesses, as well as tattoos or piercings within the last year, can also cause you to have to put blood donation off for a specified time.

Travel outside the country can also make you ineligible to donate blood due to the risk of malaria.  Fill in a Travel Information Form and call us for more information, or bring it with you when you come in to donate.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility to donate blood, please call 661-323-4222 or toll free 1-877-364-5844.

How your blood saves lives

Blood componentsMost blood donors give whole blood, which is then separated into at least two products: red blood cells and plasma. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body, and are most needed by patients suffering significant blood loss through trauma, surgery or anemia. Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood containing critical clotting factors, so it is used to treat patients suffering from trauma or with certain bleeding disorders.

Donors can give blood every 56 days and red blood cells can be stored for 42 days. Plasma can be stored frozen for up to a year for transfusion.  Any unused for transfusion after that time can be used to manufacture a wide array of pharmaceutical products to help patients suffering from conditions like hemophilia and immune system disorders.

A growing number of donors give platelets through automated donation.  This process takes a little longer, but is critical for making these essential blood clotting agents available to premature infants, patients undergoing cancer therapy, people facing heart surgeries and organ transplants, or those suffering from blood disorders. Platelets must be transfused within five days, requiring the supply to be replenished daily.

Blood is needed for:

Accident Victims
50+ Units

Cardiovascular Surgery Patients
25 Units

Cancer Patients Needing Treatment
400 Units Per Year

Only 10 people of 100 will give blood. Will you be in that 10%?

Maximizing Donations through Automation

Donors can optimize their blood donation through automation. Our automated machines, use the Trima Automated Blood Collection System to target the exact blood components needed for local patients, as well as the donor’s ability to give, therefore maximizing each donation.

Without automation, blood has to undergo processes to separate the components into therapeutic doses for patients.  With automation, this is all done during donation, saving time in getting the components through testing and dispensed to patients in need. What is not needed for patients is returned safely to the donor.  Most donors can provide at least two therapeutic units of the most needed components – but some can provide three to four units. Many donors feel that the time automated donation takes, about 11/2 to 2 hours, is well worth it because they can provide needed platelets unavailable through other means, and they can save more lives in one visit to the blood bank.

Katie Platelet Chair-001