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Blood donation

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Share the life-saving gift of blood

You can be an essential part of saving lives by donating blood. It's a simple process that saves more than 4 million American lives each year.

Ninety-five percent of all Americans will need a blood transfusion by age 72. One out of 10 hospital patients needs a transfusion. Blood is always needed for treatment of accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients. There is no substitute for blood.

Every pint of whole blood you donate is separated into three components – plasma, red cells and platelets. Fresh plasma is used to treat accident victims, patients with bleeding disorders and burn victims. Platelets are used to treat cancer patients and patients who have had bone marrow transplants. Red cells are used to treat patients who have lost blood because of trauma or surgery. They are also used to treat patients with anemia.


Blood transfusions are a critical part of everyday medicine. Patients receiving organ transplants, cancer therapies and support for sickle cell anemia depend on lifesaving transfusions. Blood is also critical to the survival of some premature babies and some patients undergoing heart or joint replacement surgery.

To make sure blood is available for patients who need it, please donate regularly. You can donate whole blood every eight weeks.

In some cases, blood components – such as platelets – can be donated and the remaining components can be returned to the donor.

This process is known as apheresis and it allows more of one particular component to be collected. The donation takes longer than a whole-blood donation, but donors can give more frequently. Apheresis donations are beneficial to patients who have blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia or who are being treated for leukemia or cancer. Learn more about apheresis donations.

Common questions about blood donation:

  • Am I eligible to donate blood?
  • How is donated blood screened?

Some of our facilities host blood drives, or you can donate at community blood drives held throughout the year in your area.