In Mississippi, hundreds of pints of blood are needed every day. That means: friends, your spouse, your children, your children’s friends, coworkers, fellow church or synagogue members, fellow teammates, even YOU, are a probable recipient of the blood resources of Mississippi Blood Services. The fact is, with this kind of demand, every one of us knows someone, or will meet someone, who will need blood.
For example, a patient who has suffered injuries in an automobile accident requires an average of 50 units of blood. A cardiovascular surgery may require anywhere from 2 to 25 units of blood. A cancer patient will often require up to 8 units per week. When you donate blood you are giving someone a second chance.
What are blood and blood components used for?
Red blood cells (RBCs) carry oxygen throughout the body. RBCs are often needed during surgery, during trauma emergencies and to help Sickle cell patients. Platelets facilitate blood clotting. Platelet products are often needed to help leukemia and cancer patients, as well as those undergoing major surgery. Plasma contains additional clotting factors and is the liquid that carries other blood components throughout the body. It is needed for burn patients or those with clotting disorders.
Who can and cannot give?
- Are 16 years of age or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health.
- Have donated whole blood in the last 8 weeks
- Have had mononucleosis or major surgery in the last 6 months or minor surgery in the last 2 months
- Have been pregnant in the last 6 weeks
- Have had malaria in the past 3 years
- Have had heart disease or heart surgery
- Have had dental work in 3 days or teeth cleaned in 24 hours
- Are currently on antibiotics or currently experiencing allergic symptoms
- Have HIV/AIDS or are in a high-risk group for AIDS
- Have Hepatitis or test positive for Hepatitis after the age of 11
- Have Liver Disease or Lung Disease
- Have had Cancer in the last year
- Have abnormal bleeding tendencies including Hemophilia
- Have engaged in intravenous drug use
- Have leukemia, lymphomas or any blood diseases
- Have sickle cell anemia
Apheresis is a special kind of automated donation that allows whole blood to be withdrawn from the donor and separated into its component parts via a cell separator. All components, except for the platelets, are returned to the donor. This procedure takes approximately 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. Your body replaces platelets within 48-72 hours and you can give platelets every 72 hours.
During apheresis, whole blood is separated through a cell separator and red blood cells are collected. The remainder of the blood components are returned to the donor along with saline to replace the lost volume. Most donors are happy to know that a smaller needle is used and do not mind that the procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes longer than a whole blood donation.
Platelets are essential for blood clotting and often used by patients with bleeding disorders such as leukemia and aplastic anemia. Apheresis products or components are also used for cancer patients, patients with blood disorders, trauma and burn victims, organ transplant and heart surgeries.
Whole Blood donation
When you donate Whole Blood, one pint is taken during donation. It is later separated into three components.
- Red Cells
It takes six people to make up one unit of platelets. That is why we suggest that if you have type A blood you give a platelet donation instead.
When you donate whole blood you can help save up to three lives! Red blood cells are often used to help surgery patients, trauma victims and premature babies.
You can donate whole blood every 56 days.
Double Red Cells
As a blood donor, you can double the impact of your donation by participating in what is called Double Red Blood Cell Collection. This approach enables donors to donate two units of red blood cells at one visit, saving time on paperwork, travel, phone calls and the number of finger sticks per year.
Because of the significant and ongoing need for red blood cells in our community, please consider a donation of red blood cells. By donating exclusively red blood cells, you can help fulfill the transfusion needs of two patients.
You can donate double red cells every 16 weeks or 112 days.
There are some special requirements when you donate double red cells:
Donors must be in good health, be at least 16 years old and have a minimum hematocrit of 40%.
Males must weigh 130 pounds and be at least 5’1″, Females must weigh 150 pounds and beat least 5’5″, in height.
How do I make an appointment for a company / church drive
Please login and make an appointment for your company’s drive here.
If I have a cold or the flu, can I donate blood?
In order to donate, Mississippi Blood Services requires that you be in generally good health (symptom-free) and recommends that you are feeling well.
I’m concerned about HIV/AIDS. Is there any risk of contracting this or other blood disorders from donating blood?
No. All supplies, including the needle, are sterile and used only once.
Does donating blood hurt?
You may feel a slight sting at the very beginning that lasts only a moment, but there should be no discomfort during the donation itself.
How much time will it take for my body to replace the blood I’ve donated?
A very small amount of time, actually. Within a few hours of your donation your original volume of fluids will have been regenerated, and your red blood cells will be replaced within a few short weeks.
How often can I give blood?
Regulations in the U.S. allow people to donate once every 56 days for whole blood donation. The waiting period between donations can be different for other blood components. For instance, donating only platelets in a process called apheresis requires only a 3 day waiting period between donations. See the section on “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Blood” for more information on donating blood components.