From time to time, blood donors ask why there are different waiting periods between blood donations.
The answer is simple: It takes your body different amounts of time to regenerate what you give. (Those waiting periods, by the way, are recommendations from the AABB, the blood banks’ trade association, and the federal Food and Drug Administration.)
One of the reasons you typically don’t feel any effects from a donation is that the body completely replaces the plasma – the liquid that carries cells and proteins around your bloodstream – in two days or less. Also, the typical donation is just 10 percent of your blood volume.
Following that typical trip to the donor room or mobile drive, you make what is known as a whole-blood donation. That means all the components in your bloodstream are collected in one bag, then separated in our laboratory.