Type of Blood Donation

Donation of blood or ‘whole blood’ is the most common and familiar type of blood donation. There are some other types of blood donation based on the blood donated, and based on the kinds of donors. For any individual, the best type of blood donation can depend on their blood type, physical characteristics, availability of opportunity for blood donation, and personal preferences.

A few types of blood donation are

Voluntary Donation: This is the most altruistic type of blood donation, done voluntarily without any expectation of payment or substitution. Voluntary donation is done out of a self-generated sense of communal responsibility.

Directed Donation: This type of blood donation is made especially for a family member or friend against a doctor’s prescription. This donation is subject to the donation requirements like complementary blood groups, and other screening tests. Usually, the unit of blood donated by the directed donor is used for the designated patient after following the testing protocol. Sometimes when a directed donor’s blood is not useful for the suggested patient, it is used for other patients.

Autologous Donation: During this type of donation, a patient can donate blood for his own use. This donated blood is used for the same person when needed. Some of the advantages of this donation are easy availability, useful when the patient has a rare blood group, no alloimmunization chances, and safety from TTI.

Apheresis: Apheresis relates to the procedure, where the whole blood from a donor is separated into various components, and the other elements are returned to the donor. Usually blood is donated as ‘whole blood’. Patients suffering from cancer, leukemia, blood disorders or some transplant patients sometimes need platelet transfusions. To donate platelets for such patients, whole blood is taken from the donors, platelets are extracted and then the remaining elements are given back to the donor. This process needs advanced equipment and HLA matched donors. Apheresis can be done to take donations in the form of platelets, plasma or other components of blood like double red cell donation. This procedure reduces the multiple donor exposure to a patient.

Whole Blood: This is the most familiar and common type of blood donation. Usually a donor can donate around 450 ml of blood per donation. Every healthy person is eligible to donate whole blood every 8 weeks. Though the actual process of blood donation takes place around 8 – 10 minutes, the entire process including screening before donation, and rest after donation can take around one hour.

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