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.
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 blood as a whole, donations can be made for only the component that is needed most by local patients. These donations are made through an automated process known as 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.