Donating red cells makes a difference

June 15, 2020

Did you know there’s a special type of blood donation that goes twice as long toward helping South Texans in need?

It’s called a double-red cell donation. Instead of giving all your blood components (known as a whole blood donation), you give just red blood cells, with the other components returned to your bloodstream.

The need is especially great for donors who have type O, type A-negative or type B-negative blood, since their red cells can help patients of different blood types:

Your type

You can donate to these types

% of patients who can receive your type

O-

All

100%

O+

O+, A+, B+, AB+

84%

A-

A-, A+, AB-, AB+

44%

A+

A+, AB+

37%

B-

B+, B-, AB+, AB-

15%

B+

B+, AB+

12%

AB+

AB+

3%

AB-

AB-, AB+

4%

More than 6 in 10 transfusions every year need red cells that go to newborns, trauma patients, transplants and open-heart surgeries.

The requirements are the same as when you donate whole blood, except men have to be at least 5-foot-1 and weigh more than 130 pounds, and women must be at least 5-foot-3 and weigh at least 150 pounds.

Many people report feeling better after donating red cells than they do after giving whole blood. In a whole blood donation, you lose about 500 milliliters. With a double-red cell donation, you lose just 360 milliliters, with an additional 500 milliliters of saline going back into your system.

To learn more about making a double-red cell donation, visit SouthTexasBlood.org.


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