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Southwest Blood Services Region
 
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to donate blood?
How much can my donation possibly help?
Why not wait until someone I know needs my blood?
Will it hurt?
I'm Type O-positive, the most common blood type, so you don't need me, right?
Why are platelet donations needed?
How long does it take to give whole blood or platelets?
 

Is it safe to donate blood?

Absolutely! A clean, sterile needle is used only once - for you! - and then properly discarded. The donation process...
 
How much can my donation possibly help?
You could be saving or enriching the lives of three hospital patients with your single donation. Most donations are separated into components. That means your plasma could help a burn victim in shock; your platelets, a clotting factor, might be given to a child with leukemia; and someone undergoing hip replacement surgery may receive your red blood cells.
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Why not wait until someone I know needs my blood?
There isn't time to give blood and have it given directly to someone in an emergency. Blood must be processed, tested and transported to the hospital before it is transfused. In an emergency, blood has to be already on the shelves ready to go. If everyone waited to donate, there would be no blood for trauma victims or other hospital patients needing an immediate transfusion. What happens to your blood after you donate...
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Will it hurt?
No, not really. Try this: Give the inside of your elbow a quick but hard pinch. That's about as much pain as you will feel when you donate blood. The donation process...
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I'm Type O-positive, the most common blood type, so you don't need me, right?
Wrong! There is a constant need by hospital patients for Type O-positive blood. Nearly half of the population has this blood type. This means your blood type is in constant demand. About blood types...
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Why are platelet donations needed?
Different parts of your blood offer specific benefits to patients. Patients needing a blood transfusion do not necessarily need all components of whole blood. Children and adults with cancer and leukemia need platelets after chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Bone marrow and organ transplant patients also rely on platelets. Many patients need daily platelet transfusions and could suffer life-threatening hemorrhages without them. With new treatments and procedures, the demand for platelets has grown dramatically. Giving platelets...
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How long does it take to give whole blood or platelets?
Giving whole blood takes about an hour, which includes registering, medical history, health screening and the blood donation. The blood donation itself only takes about six minutes. (More...) Giving platelets requires advanced equipment and, currently, can only be donated at the Tulsa, Dallas, Wichita Falls or Waco blood center. This special donation takes about two hours, which includes registration, medical history, health screening and the platelet donation. (More...)
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