Donation Types

Whole Blood Donation

Every 2 seconds an American receives a blood transfusion. Help ensure this precious resource is available for ill and injured people in our community by donating blood at the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center.

Directed Donation

Definition: Blood donated by a person(s) to be given to a specific patient.

Most blood transfusion authorities believe that blood from family and friends (directed donations) is no safer than blood from regular volunteer donors. Directed donations are made available because of patients concerns, not because of medical evidence has shown greater safety. Directed donations are not intended for emergency use. Donations must be made 48 hours in advance. A list of potential donors must be provided to the Blood Center before blood can be collected. Due to the rare potential of Graft-vs-Host disease after receiving blood from a blood relative , these units must be irradiated before transfusion. (First degree members are parents, siblings, and children.) Appropriate forms and doctors approval are required for directed donations.

Autologous Donation

Definition: Blood donated by an individual specificly for their own use.

After storage (35 day limit), blood is transfused back to the same individual, usually during an elective surgery. The Autologous unit is the safest blood a person can receive because it is the recipient's own blood. Autologous blood is never given to another person because not all autologous donors meet the FDA requirements for blood donation. Autologous blood not used by the donor is destroyed. Autologous blood is, at times, preferred by both patient and physician for pre-planned surgeries such as reconstructive surgeries, back surgery, jaw surgery, and hip and knee replacements. Appropriate forms are required and various regulations must be met for autologous donations.

Platelet Apheresis

Platelet donations are scheduled by appointment only. Interested donors must provide a blood sample prior to the platelet donation. This is necessary to calculate the appropriate amount of platelets given by the donor. It is different for each donor. Consult with a staff phlebotomist regarding requirements for this unique donation. Platelet apheresis provides 6-12 times the platelet yield of a whole blood donation.

Double Red Cell

The "double red cell" procedure allows a donor to give twice the volume of packed red cells than in a normal donation, the donor gets back his or her plasma and platelets, along with enough saline solution to restore the volume of red cells lost.

It's a win-win for both donor and recipient. Donors end up making one trip to WKRBC instead of two. The donor recruiters make one phone call instead of two. The donation itself is twice as useful. The hours and dollars spent doing FDA required testing on the blood sample are only done once. This allows WKRBC to use their funds in other needed areas.

Two units from one donation! Everybody benefits!