Requirements to Donate Blood
Every Drop Counts
Few acts are as simple, and yet so generous, as donating blood. The only source for this blood is you – the volunteer donor. Donors are needed to help ensure a safe and adequate blood supply for patients in their community. Blood is needed every five seconds; it may be even be needed for someone you know..
Who can give?
Finding someone else with the same blood type can be difficult. That is why it is essential for donor diversity to match the patient diversity. Donors must:
- Be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds;
- Be over a cold or flu symptoms for 24 hours;
- Have not donated whole blood in the last eight weeks;
- Have had no transfusions for one year;
- Have no history of hepatitis after age 11;
- Have had no tattoos or piercings in the last 30 days.
Please note: The Blood Bank asks that you please postpone your donation for 28 days if you have traveled to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea, or if you’ve been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Healthy blood donors are encouraged to donate every eight weeks.
How easy is it?
Most donations take only approximately 40 minutes. This includes completing a donor registration form, receiving a mini-physical, donating about one pint of blood and enjoying refreshments after.
After donating, all blood donations are tested to ensure that the blood is safe for transfusions. Each unit of blood is tested to verify blood type and to determine if it may transmit diseases. Should a problem be detected during testing, donors will be confidentially notified by mail.
How will my donation help others?
Blood is comprised of different parts, which serve different purposes. Patients require specific blood components based on their diagnosis. Thanks to advances in medical technology, blood can be separated into its different components. They include:
- Red cells: blood cells that transport oxygen to body cells and remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. These are used to treat anemia and blood loss resulting from trauma and surgery, sometimes up to 50 pints.
- White Cells: (Leukocytes): blood cells that protect the bloodstream from infection.
- Platelets: blood cells that help control bleeding by helping the clotting process. These are commonly used in treating cancer and leukemia. One patient can require the platelets from seven or more individual donors every day for weeks.
- Plasma: consisting of 92% water, 7% protein, and 1% minerals, it’s the source for gamma globulin, albumin and clotting factors. These are used for treating bleeding disorders, severe burns and shock.
Every donation can save up to three lives and every drop counts. Consider donating or visiting a blood drive in your area to make a difference in someone’s life today.
For hours of operation, locations, questions and more please call 504-842-3375 to speak to an Ochsner representative. Click here to learn more about the Ochsner Blood Bank.