There are several types of donations you can make through Blood Assurance which will make an impact in your community.
- Whole Blood Donations
- Apheresis Donation
- Double Red Cell (ALYX) Donation
- Medical Donations
- Be the Match National Marrow Donor Program
- Blood Assurance Community Programs
Whole Blood Donation
Whole blood donors are the lifeblood of our community!
Whole blood donation is the most common form of donating: whole blood is collected from the donor and taken to the laboratory where it is separated into specific components, such as red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Donors can provide a whole blood donation every 56 days (8 weeks). A whole blood donation takes approximately 30 minutes from registration to completion.
The requirements for whole blood donation are as follows:
- Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds.
- When checked by our donor care specialist, your hemoglobin (iron) level must be at least 12.5 g/dL.
- Your blood pressure cannot be higher than 180/100 mm Hg or lower than 90/50 mm Hg (Even if you are currently taking medication, as long as your blood pressure meets these requirements, you are eligible to donate).
- Your body temperature must be between 96.4 and 100.4 degrees.
- Your pulse rate must be no lower than 50 beats/minute and no higher than 100 beats/minute.
- You will also be asked a series of questions to ensure that you are eligible to donate. (Please note that answering “yes” to certain questions will not automatically defer you from donating blood.)
- Certain medications and medical conditions will prevent you from donating, at least temporarily. Call 800-962-0628 to inquire about your medications and medical conditions.
What Is Apheresis?
Apheresis (a-fer-EE-sis) is a type of blood donation. Instead of whole blood, the donor gives only a certain blood component.
What’s It Like?
Apheresis feels much like a whole blood donation. The blood is taken from one arm and channeled through a sterile, disposable kit that is placed in a special machine. The machine separates the blood into different components, the needed part is taken out, and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor.
It normally takes 45 to 90 minutes to complete an Apheresis donation.
How Does Apheresis Help Patients?
Platelets are tiny cells which prevent bleeding. People with certain blood disorders may not be able to produce healthy platelets of their own.
While chemotherapy kills cancer cells, it also destroys platelets. Apheresis donations provide the components many patients depend on for their very lives.
How Can I Be An Apheresis Donor?
Apheresis donors must meet the same donor eligibility guidelines as whole blood donors. Now, in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia 16 year olds can donate with parental consent. Donors must weigh a minimum of 110 lbs. and be in good general health. Apheresis donors can give every seven days up to a maximum of 24 times per year.
Where Can I Become an Apheresis Donor?
Apheresis donors at nearly all of our donor centers. Call 800-962-0628 to verify your eligibility and schedule a donation.
Your apheresis donations are needed by:
- patients who experience trauma
- patients who experience bleeding during surgery
- patients with aplastic anemia
- transplant recipients
- patients with leukemia
- patients receiving treatment for cancer
Double Red Cell (ALYX) Donation
Donors who want to double the impact of their gift of life are invited to complete an ALYX donation.
Using a special machine similar to an Apheresis donation, the ALYX machine collects two units of red blood cells instead of one. Platelets and plasma are returned to the donor by a single-use disposable kit and the donor receives a saline solution for hydration. Requirements for this type of donation are similar to those for a whole blood donation, with a slightly higher requirement for height and weight.
ALYX donors only give once every 112 days (16 weeks) instead of the normal 56 days and a typical ALYX donation takes approximately 45 minutes. Call us at 800-962-0628 to verify eligiblility and schedule an ALYX donation today.
Blood Assurance provides three types of phlebotomy services to healthcare facilities and their patients. Please note, we only process special donations requests on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please allow a minimum of one week from initial submission for processing and scheduling.
These special donations are managed by our Donor Services Administrative Assistant, Carrie Snyder, who can be reached at 800-962-0628 (please leave a voicemail if necessary for a return call on Tuesdays or Thursdays).
Certain blood-related illnesses, such as hemochromatosis and polycythemia, require that a patient have a prescribed amount of blood drawn for medical purposes. A physician’s order must be completed in advance and an appointment is required. Medical personnel can find the required “Request for Theraputic Phlebotomy” in the downloads section to the right.
In certain circumstances, a patient who will be undergoing a medical procedure such as surgery in the near future may be asked by their physician to donate some of their own blood to be transfused back into them if necessary. A physician’s order must be completed in advance and an appointment is required. Medical personnel can find the required “Special Donations Request Form” in the downloads section to the right.
The doctor and patient may identify a compatible blood donor from the patient’s family or friends and at the patient’s request, that donor can designate their blood donation to be used specifically for that patient. A physician’s order must be completed in advance and an appointment is required. Medical personnel can find the required “Special Donations Request Form” in the downloads section to the right.
Be the Match Marrow Registry
Blood Assurance has been a member of the Be The Match Registry® (also known as the National Marrow Donor Program) since 1993.
Be The Match® is a worldwide organization made up of individuals who work together to recruit bone marrow and/or stem cell donors to match potential donors with patients in need of life-saving transplants.
For those in need of a transplant, there is a 30% chance of finding a matched donor within the patient’s family. The registry increases your chances to 85%.
Potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44 years old and are required to meet certain health guidelines. A swab sample of cheek cells is taken and tested to determine the donor’s tissue type. Potential donors must also complete a brief health history questionnaire and sign a consent form to have their tissue type listed on the Be The Match Registry. You are only called to donate if you are a potential match for a patient.
Donors may be asked to donate in one of two ways:
- Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor’s pelvic bones using special, hollow needles. General or regional anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no needle injections and no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some pain in their lower back for a few days afterwards.
- Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation involves removing a donor’s blood through a sterile needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.
Join the Registry or Get in Touch
You can join the registry at any Blood Assurance location or by visiting a marrow registration drive. For more information, please contact the marrow department:
Carla J. Lewis
Be The Match Team Members
- Tyler Xavier
- J Carlton
- Alex Moore
- Martha Lee
- Kevin Scoggins
- Makayla Claussen
- Johnson Brothers
- Alle Hunter
- Rev Travis Steele
- Emmiley Boutwell
- Jamie Godfrey
Blood Assurance Community Programs
A 501(c)3 non-profit chartered in 1999, the Blood Assurance Foundation supports programs in the 5 state region served by Blood Assurance.
To date, 166 Crystal Green Memorial Scholarships have been awarded. In 2013 $6,500 Excellence in Education grants were presented. Blood Assurance held 70 marrow drives and 1930 donors were recruited to join Be The Match in 2013.
For more information about the Foundation, please contact Charlie Callari, Executive Director of Media Relations and Community Outreach, at (423) 752-8471.
Donations can be mailed to:
705 E 4th St
Chattanooga, TN 37403