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Double up and save lives

United Blood Services uses a high-tech process that makes it possible for blood donors to give two units of red blood cells in only one visit to the blood center. Donating blood this way can double the lifesaving effect of the donor’s generous gift.

In a traditional blood donation, donors give whole blood—which consists of red cells, plasma and platelets. With the automated process called double red cell donation, donors can give just red cells—but two units of red cells—and that’s the component of blood that is in the greatest demand.

Blood donors who give four or six times a year like double red cell donation because they can cut their visits to the blood center in half, and still do just as much good for the community. People who give blood two or three times a year can stay on that same schedule, but double the effectiveness of their blood donation.
Donors say the automated double red cell donation is more comfortable than regular whole blood donations because a smaller needle is used. Donors also receive back their own plasma and about a pint of saline, leaving them better hydrated than before the donation.

Along with meeting the regular blood donor qualifications, double red cell donors must meet special requirements. Men must weigh at least 130 lbs. and be at least 5'1", while women must weigh at least 150 lbs., and be at least 5'5" tall. Those qualifications might seem backwards, but they’re not. That’s because men’s bodies carry a greater blood volume than women’s bodies. So, generally speaking, a man who is 5'1" and weighs 130  has about the same blood volume as a woman who is 5'5: and weighs 150. Our qualifications are based on blood volume—which we’ve translated to height and weight.

Click here to schedule a double red cell donation





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