Whole blood donation is a safe, simple and rewarding experience. A whole blood donation may be broken into three components. That means a single donation may help as many as three different patients in your community hospital. Heartland Blood Centers recommends that volunteers donate every eight weeks to assure that the blood will be available for those in need. Because blood cannot be manufactured, the only source is volunteer blood donors.
Red Cell Apheresis
Red Cell Apheresis is a new technology that allows Heartland Blood Centers to collect only red cells using an apheresis process. Over 63% of all needed transfusion units are red cells. Red Cell Apheresis separates red cells and plasma while your blood is being drawn, unlike whole blood donations where blood components are separated later in the process. Our patients’ medical conditions and critical needs determine the blood products they require. By donating through apheresis we can better help match our donations collected to the needs of our hospitals.
Platelet Apheresis allows Heartland Blood Centers to collect only the platelets which are vital for patients with bone marrow transplants, cancer, leukemia and other fatal blood disorders. During an apheresis procedure, blood will be removed from one arm, as in a regular blood donation. It will pass through a special machine called a cell separator where the desired components will be removed. The rest of the blood will be returned to you. The apheresis donation lasts about two hours.
Your plasma donation also allows us to help critically ill patients. It can be used to help cancer patients, burn victims, patients having organ transplants or those suffering from clotting disorders. Get the Facts about Plasma and choose to take your donation further.
Currently, Heartland is one of a few organizations in the Chicago land area that accepts blood donations from individuals with Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) that can be used for transfusions. Under certain criteria, individuals with HH who are prescribed therapeutic phlebotomies as treatment, even if more frequently than every 56 days, can help contribute to our community’s blood supply.