Composition of Blood

Apheresis — Platelets, Plasma, and Super Red Donations

January 26, 2019 at 8:51 am

What is apheresis blood collection? Apheresis blood collection, or ABC, is a special kind of blood donation. Instead of giving one pint of whole blood (as in a regular donation), an ABC donor gives only the components of blood needed for patients that day. ABC is made possible by an amazing machine that separates the components of your blood, retains certain components, and returns the rest to you—all with a single needle. It’s a very efficient way of directly helping patients in hospitals. By collecting the optimal number of blood components at each donation, we can help ensure that these lifesaving products are available for the community.

What are the requirements for apheresis blood collection?  Each donation is based on gender, height, weight and hemoglobin (a value directly related to the number of red blood cells) count on the day of donation. These requirements are in place to ensure donor safety. One of our staff will use the blood collection machine and their expertise to determine what type of donation you can safely give that day. You may be recruited for an ABC donation on your first visit with us!

Why are the requirements different for women, men and nonbinary donors? Because different sexes have different total blood volumes (TBV)—even if they weigh the same amount. The standard of care dictates that no more than 15% of a person’s TBV should be drawn at a time. Our apheresis machines determine TBV based on gender, height, weight and hemoglobin.

Continue to other types of blood products…