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Types of blood donation

Whole blood donation

Whole blood donation is the most common donation type and is done by generous members of our community, for patients in our community. In less than an hour, a person can donate one unit of whole blood that can then be separated into individual components to help save multiple lives. A whole blood donor may give blood every 56 days.

Double red cell donation

Red cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body. They are most needed after significant blood loss from trauma and surgery and are used to treat anemia and other blood diseases.

To meet the ever-increasing demand for blood, we can optimize blood donations with the double red cell program. Automated double-component collection systems allow a donor to give two units of red cells in just one visit.

How does it work? During a double red cell donation, blood is drawn from one arm. The red cells are separated and the remaining blood is returned to the donor along with additional saline, thereby replenishing most of the lost fluids. Donors often leave feeling better than a standard whole blood donation because they are better hydrated. It only takes 15 additional minutes for a double donation.

The eligibility requirements are slightly more stringent when donating two units of red blood cells. See the chart below for the basic qualifications.






> 130 lbs.

> 5'1"

= > 14.0


> 150 lbs.

> 5'5"

A double red cell donor may donate every 112 days. This option is well suited to those who wish to donate fewer times per year. Fewer visits and double the units!   

Platelet donation

Platelets are very small, colorless, cell fragments in the blood. Their main function is to help clot blood. The platelet donation process takes about 1 ½ hours. Most donors relax, watch movies, or read. Wifi access is available. Donors must meet specific criteria to qualify. At your next whole blood donation, please ask about donating platelets. Platelets may be donated as often as every 3 to 7 days, up to 24 times a year.

Other blood services

Autologous donation

Autologous blood is blood that you donate for yourself. This service is provided at a fee. Before you come to the hospital for any elective surgery that may require a blood transfusion, you may donate your own blood and store it for use during your surgery.

If you are anemic, have unstable heart disease, or an infection, regulations prohibit the collection of your blood. Talk with your doctor or the Blood Center medical director to decide if autologous donation is appropriate for you and how many units should be collected. Your final unit of blood should be donated at least seven working days before your surgery so your body can restore normal blood volume and allow time to complete all the necessary testing. Your autologous blood can be stored 42 days.      

Directed donation

If you cannot donate your own blood, you may choose to have friends or family members donate for you. This service is provided at a fee.

Husbands are not allowed to donate for wives who are capable of future pregnancies. Such transfusions can initiate serious incompatibilities between the mother and her future baby's blood (hemolytic disease of the newborn).

If you choose to receive blood from a directed donor, your doctor must order the procedure. You must also sign a patient consent for directed donation stating the names of those you wish to donate for you. Directed donors must meet all donor regulations. Directed donation appointments must be arranged with the Blood Center at least five working days before the transfusion date to allow time for all routine testing.

Therapeutic phlebotomy

The Blood Center provides therapeutic phlebotomy, the removal of whole blood from a patient. This procedure is normally done to lower the blood count. Hemochromatosis and polycythemia vera are the most common conditions treated with therapeutic phlebotomy. The number of treatments is determined by your doctor and he or she must write an order for this procedure

Contact us:

To make an appointment to donate blood, please e-mail or call us.

(831) 625-4814
(831) 658-3002 Fax

Hartnell Professional Center
576 Hartnell St., Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
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