- Why do cancer patients need blood?
Some cancers and cancer treatments harm blood cells. If red blood cells drop, a patient will feel weak, tired and short of breath. If platelets or plasma proteins decrease, a patient may bleed.
- How often can I donate whole blood?
If you are in good health and you meet all requirements, you may donate:
- Whole blood every 56 days
- Platelets every 48 hours, only twice a week and up to 24 times in one year
- Platelets and red blood cells together every 56 days
- Double red blood cells every 16 weeks (112 days)
- Are there risks to me when I donate?
There is almost no risk to you. Except for a slight discomfort at the beginning of the collection, most donors report no problems. You cannot become infected with any new disease by donating.
- What if I am on medication?
Most medications are acceptable. Call us in advance at (06)53 00 460 ext. 1710 to check or if you have any questions. It is always a good idea to bring a list of your medications with you when you come to donate. Certain herbal products harm platelets. You must wait 48 hours after taking ginseng, garlic or green tea.
- How long does it take to donate?
To donate whole blood, the complete process takes about 30 minutes while the actual blood collection takes only about 5-10 minutes. For platelet only donations the complete process takes between 1- 1.5 hours. Collection of platelets or red blood cells is done using a special machine by a process called aphaeresis.
- How long is donated blood kept?
Red blood cells are good for 42 days. Platelets are good for five days. Plasma is frozen and can be used up to one year later.
- Do I need to know my blood type to donate?
No, you do not need to have that knowledge; our lab will have that info, once the blood has been collected.
- What happens to my blood or platelets after I donate?
Every donation is tested after each donation. All tests run, must have a negative result for the blood or platelets to be used by one of our patients. Blood is separated into the following components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma.