Types of Blood Donation

At Huntington Hospital, we offer a variety of blood donation services, including whole blood donation, directed donation (donating blood to a specific person), and the donation of specific blood components. Learn more below.

If you have additional questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions or call 626-397-5422.

Whole Blood Donation

By making a whole blood donation at Huntington Hospital you will not only save lives but help the hospital maintain an adequate blood supply for the community. Blood has a limited shelf life and the hospital uses more than 17,000 blood products annually. Every unit counts - including yours!

Basic Requirements

  • You must be in general good health.
  • Must be 16 years of age or older, and 16 year-olds must have a written Huntington Hospital
    parental consent form only.
  • You must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.
  • People over the age of 75 may donate at the Donor Center with a written note from their
    primary care physician.
  • Diabetics may donate if diabetes is controlled with diet or medication. Diabetics taking insulin may donate as long as they are in good control and they have never taken bovine insulin.
  • Aspirin is acceptable if the donor is not donating platelets.
  • Cancer: May donate after treatment of basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, and cervical dysplasia or carcinoma in-situ of the cervix. Donors with a history of a solid organ or non-hematologic malignancy may donate 1 year after completion of treatment provided they have remained symptom free without relapse.
  • Donors with high blood pressure may donate if pressure is controlled with medication.

Temporary Whole Blood Deferral

We ask that you defer, or reschedule your whole blood donation in the following cases:

  • Cold or flu - must be symptom free for 48 hours
  • Antibiotics - medication must be completed for at least 48 hours and donor must be symptom free
  • Shots/Inoculations - call the Donor Center for further information
  • Pregnancy - At least six weeks after vaginal delivery
  • Tattoo - must wait 12 months
  • Blood Transfusion - must wait 12 months
  • Travel - Please inform the nurse if you have been out of the country in the past three years. Several countries (e.g., India, parts of Mexico and countries in South American) have temporary deferrals.
  • Zika Virus - If you have traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, and or Central or South America in the last 28 days, we are asking you not to donate today, but to return for your donation more than 28 days after your return to the United States.

We are doing this for the following reasons:

  • Zika virus infection is spreading rapidly in the Western Hemisphere, outside the United States and Canada.
  • Zika virus infection is mild in most people, but there is a concern that Zika is causing serious brain injury to infants whose mothers have been infected during pregnancy, and an increase in cases of Guillain-Barre' syndrome, a temporary but serious disorder causing paralysis.
  • Zika virus can be present in the blood of an infected person who has no symptoms of illness.
  • There is a concern that Zika virus can be transmitted by blood.

For further information, speak with staff in the donor center or call 626-397-5422.

Indefinite Travel Deferral

  • United Kingdom - three months cumulative time in the UK from 1980 to 1996
  • Europe - five years cumulative time in Europe from 1980 to present
  • Please inform your nurse if you were a member of the US Military,
    or a civilian military employee or dependent

Permanent Whole Blood Deferral

Unfortunately we cannot accept blood donations in these cases:

  • HIV infection
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice - after the age of 10

Other Donation Types

Directed Donation

Directed donation allows a patient to select particular donors, such as family members or friends, for anticipated transfusion needs. The selected donor agrees to voluntarily provide blood for use by the patient during his or her procedure. Because of increased processing time, directed donations must be made three or more working days prior to anticipated use.

To make an appointment, please call (626) 397-5422.

Pheresis Donation

Community pheresis donation involves removing specific components from whole blood during the donation process. Components such as platelets, red blood cells and/or plasma are removed and the remaining blood is returned to the donor. Each component can then be used to treat patients suffering from a wide range of diseases and disorders, including cancer, hemophilia and other conditions.

At the time of your donation a nurse will review your records to determine the best type of components for you to contribute. All blood types are welcome for a pheresis donation.

If you are interested in making a pheresis donation, you must first visit the Blood Donor Center and make a whole blood donation. Your blood and platelet count will be tested to ensure your eligibility. A representative will contact you with the results and to schedule your next appointment.

Platelets are viable for only five days and must be administered to patients within that time period. A constant supply is critical to our patients in need of platelet transfusions. Please allow enough time as the procedure may take one and a 1/2 to two hours, depending on your donation. Pheresis appointments are available Monday through Thursday at the Blood Donor Center.

Autologous Donation

Autologous donation allows patients to have their own blood drawn and stored for an anticipated use, such as elective surgery. The procedure requires a physician's order, but other restrictions, such as weight or age limitations, are less stringent than those for community blood donation.

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