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Automated Red Cell Donations (ALYX)

The Blood Bank of Delmarva uses technology which allows you to donate two units of critically needed red blood cells in just one visit, saving two lives each time!

Who needs my red cells?

Red cells are critically needed by:

  • accident/burn victims
  • cancer/chemotherapy patients
  • mothers during childbirth and newborn babies
  • surgery/trauma patients
  • people living with anemia and blood disease

What blood types are the best types to give automated red cells?

This can vary depending on demand and daily needs. However, we most commonly ask donors with the following blood types to donate automated red cells: O negative, O positive, B negative and A negative.

What is it like to make an automated red cell donation?

A small amount of blood is drawn into a sterile bag and then spun in a centrifuge to separate your red cells from other blood components. The red cells are stored in a separate bag while your other components (plasma and platelets) are safely returned to you along with saline solution. This helps keep your body’s blood volume balanced, so you actually feel better than if you donated whole blood. This cycle is repeated a few times until we have collected the required amount of red cells. This donation procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and saves two lives.

Why not take red cells from my whole blood donation?

With an automated red cell donation you can donate two units with each visit! When giving a whole blood donation, the collection needs to be sent to the lab to separate the blood components, and then the red cells need to be filtered. With an automated donation, the red cells are separated and filtered immediately, making them readily available, after routine testing, for the patients who desperately need them.

How often can I donate automated red cells?

You can make an automated red cell donation every 112 days or 16 weeks. You can save six lives every year in just three visits! Ask if you are eligible to donate automated red cells.

 Schedule an Automated Red Cell Donation