Donation Types

Home » Give Blood » Donation Types

The Difference Is In The Details

You may not be aware that blood is made up of three key components – red cells, platelets and plasma. Each component is critical to the human body, and each is needed to treat a different illness or injury.

As a result, there are different types of blood donations.

Determining what component is best for you to donate – and how you can impact a very special patient in need – begins with your blood type.

Whole Blood

The most common type of donation is a whole blood donation. During a whole blood donation all parts of the blood are collected simultaneously, or as a whole.


Instead of collecting a unit (about a pint) of your whole blood, apheresis donations can be made for only the component that is needed most by local patients.

Double red cell, platelet, and plasma donations can only be collected via apheresis.

This process collects whole blood from the donor, isolates the needed component, then returns the remaining components along with a saline solution back to the donor.

Appointments are required for apheresis procedures.