Donate Double Red Cells

What are double red cells? Blood is made up of three basic components; red cells, plasma, and platelets. Double red cells are two units of only red cells. 

How are double red cells collected? Through a single sterile needle, some of your whole blood is removed and passed through a cell separator. The whole blood is separated into red bloods cells and plasma/platelets. The red cells are then drawn into collection bags while the cell separator returns the plasma/platelet product and saline solution to the donor. The saline solution provides volume replacement to replace the volume of blood lost by the donor.

Why donate double red cells? 

  • In approximately 45 minutes, you are able to donate 2 products in 1 visit. 
  • Provide a better product for the recipient as it reduces patient transfusion risk by reducing the number of donor exposures. 
  • 112-day deferral time between donations results in fewer phone calls and/or emails asking you to donate: longer deferral time between donations means fewer trips to the Blood Donor Center saving you time and gas. 
  • Lower total blood volume loss because you receive plasma/platelet and saline solution back. You leave more hydrated! 
  • Smaller needle.
  • Universal donors with type O- blood are encouraged to try a double red cell donation.

Am I eligible to donate double red cells?

Minimum height
   5'5"                   5'1" 
Minimum weight    150 lbs 130 lbs 
Iron level                                        40% or 13.3


How do I prepare? On the day of donation: 

  • Make sure you are well hydrated. 
  • Make sure you eat a healthy meal prior to donating. 
  • Bring a photo ID with you.