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Types of Donations

  1. Whole Blood
  2. Autologous
  3. Directed
  4. Aphaeresis
  5. Plasma
  6. Platelets
  7. Stem cell donations

1. Whole Blood Donations:

  • The process whereby whole blood is collected from volunteer donors
  • The actual blood donation takes only a few minutes
  • About 450 ml are collected
  • Can be made every 56 days providing donors meet basic eligibility requirements

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2. Autologous Donations:

  • The process whereby a patient’s own blood is collected and stored until transfusion is needed for surgery
  • An evaluation by the patient’s own physician/surgeon is required
  • Satisfaction of Canadian Blood Services’ general eligibility requirements is mandatory (with some exceptions)
  • Unlike regular whole blood donations, an autologous donor can donate up to four times within four weeks and up to seven days before surgery
  • Autologous Donations are subject to provincial health policy

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3. Directed Donations:

  • The process whereby the blood is collected from a specific donor to a specific recipient
  • Directed Donations are not generally supported in Canada as they have not been proven to be safer than regular whole blood donations, for recipients
  • Currently, Canadian Blood Services will provide directed donations from parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to a minor child.
  • Availability is subject to provincial health policy

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4. Aphaeresis Donations:

  • The process whereby blood is separated into components, allowing only a specific part to be removed
  • During donation, an anticoagulant is added to the blood to prevent clotting while outside of the body
  • Some of the fluid is returned to the donor, causing tingling around the mouth or coldness during donation

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5. Plasma Donations:

  • The process of collecting plasma
  • Takes about 30-45 minutes
  • Plasma is used to maintain blood volume, blood pressure and preventing infections and/or excessive bleeding
  • Plasma can be donated twice in seven days provided a minimum of 48 hours between donation, to a maximum of 26 times in six months

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6. Platelet Donations:

  • The process where a donor’s blood is processed through an aphaeresis machine for the purpose of extracting only platelets.
  • Takes about two hours
  • A plateletphaeresis donation is about 300 ml.
  • Platelets are one of the components that make blood clot
  • Platelets can be donated every 14 days

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7. Stem Cell Donations:

  • Involves the harvesting of stem cells from a donor, through a needle, and transfusing it into a patient
  • An initial blood test is required, which is then registered in the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network
  • If an initial match is made with any specimen on the registry, further testing is required
  • Bone marrow is the tissue at the soft centre of our bones that produces blood cells and is rich in stem cells
  • It is used to treat illnesses such as leukemia and aplastic anemia

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