The average adult has around five liters of blood in their body. When you donate whole blood (the traditional donation method) the target is to collect 500ml, but a minimum of 460ml is taken due to dosage requirements and necessary anticoagulant additive mix proportions.
This volume represents approximately 10% of a donor’s blood supply.
A donor’s total blood volume is determined by their height, weight, and gender.
Donors with Type O, A Negative, B Negative blood with a larger blood volume can target their type and give more of their best gift in one visit by giving a double red cell donation.
With this method, whole blood is drawn from the arm, spun down in a bedside cell separator, and then the platelets and plasma are returned to the body.
Double red cell donation also produces two perfectly matched 250ml units of their red blood cells.
A normal platelet count for adults ranges between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter.
The number of platelets that can be donated during one automated platelet donation is also determined by a ratio of blood volume and platelet count.
These factors are programmed into the bedside computer and then up to three doses of platelets can be given. 200-400ml of plasma is also collected to sustain the platelets.
Donors with blood types AB, O, A, and B positive are encouraged to donate platelets for patients in need.
Donors who qualify may give whole blood as often as every 8 weeks, double red cells every 16 weeks, and platelets every 7 days.
Whatever way you choose to give, know that you are helping patients by giving them a second chance at life!