Double Red Blood Cells

Double Red Blood Cell Donation (DRBC)

January 23, 2019 at 9:03 am

What is double red blood cell donation? During a double red blood cell donation, a machine is used to withdraw whole blood. Red cells are separated and retained, and the remainder of the blood is returned back to the donor. This donation safely removes twice as many red cells than traditional whole blood. We refer to this as a double red blood cell donation, or DRBC for short. 

What are red blood cells used for? Red blood cells transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and remove carbon dioxide and waste. Red blood cells are indicated for more than 70% of all transfusions. Patients who lose or at risk of losing significant volumes of blood require red blood cell transfusions.  This population includes patients who have suffered severe trauma, have a perforated bleeding ulcer, or who are undergoing a major surgical procedure.

What are the requirements for donating DRBC? Height, weight, and hemoglobin are crucial in determining whether a person can give this type of donation. In general, women and nonbinary individuals must be at least 5′ 5″ tall and weigh at least 150 pounds, and men must be at least 5′ 1″ tall and weigh at least 130 pounds. DRBC donors must also have a hemoglobin level of at least 13.3 g/dL.

Why are the requirements different for women, men and nonbinary donors? Because different sexes have different total blood volume (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.

How long does donating take? The actual DRBC draw takes about 30 minutes.

Where can I donate? DRBC donations are accepted at all indoor mobile blood drives and all three fixed site locations: Campbell, Mountain View and Menlo Park.

How often can I donate? Donors ages 16-18 are eligible for a double red blood cell donation (DRBC) once every 12 months (365 days). Donors 19 years of age or older are eligible for a DRBC donation every four months.

How do I make an appointment to donate? To make an appointment for a DRBC donation, give us a call at 650-723-7831.

Continue to other types of blood products…