Donation Types

There are multiple ways to save lives in our community by making several different types of blood donations:

What is a whole blood donation?

For a whole blood donation, about a pint of blood is collected and separated into two components: plasma, and red blood cells. The value of a whole blood donation is that you help save two lives! The red blood cells are often necessary to treat surgery patients and those rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, car accidents and other types of traumas. You can donate whole blood every 8 weeks.

What is apheresis?

Apheresis is an automated donation process that allows you to selectively donate only the blood components that are needed most, with the remaining blood being returned to you. The process takes longer than donating whole blood and depending on the components donated can last 90 minutes. The entire procedure uses sterile, single use needles just as in a whole blood donation. The blood components that can be donated through apheresis are: red blood cells, platelets and plasma

Red cells

Red cells are the blood component needed most by hospitals. When an individual donates whole blood, Community Blood Center separates a single unit of red blood cells using manual procedures in the laboratory. Through apheresis two units of red cells can be collected with no side affects to the donor. You can donate a double unit of red cells every 16 weeks.


Platelets can only be collected through apheresis and help patients who suffer from leukemia, cancer, aplastic anemia and other blood disorders. These patients often require multiple platelet donations.


Plasma contains vital clotting factors and is often needed by burn victims and patients with hematological disorders.

Reasons to donate through apheresis:

  • You will maximize your ability to help others without extra visits to donate.

  • You will help Community Blood Center better match your donation to the needs of patients.

  • You will help stabilize the blood inventory, especially in times when blood donations are needed most.