FAQs - Blood Donation

Blood and platelets are the lifeline for our patients. Our patients rely on blood and platelet transfusions to aid during their cancer treatments and transplants. Every month, more than 3,000 blood transfusions are given at City of Hope.
 
Because of the seriousness of the cases treated at City of Hope, our patients need more blood and platelets than patients at any other major medical center surveyed in Southern California.
 
Your donation literally helps save lives every day.

Yes. Blood donations from friends and family are a great source of encouragement and support for a patient needing transfusions.

If your blood type is compatible with the patient, your donated blood can be given directly to your loved one. If your blood is not the same type, it is still important that you donate to help other City of Hope patients who are a blood type match and seriously in need of your help.

In most circumstances, platelet donations do not need be the same blood type. Therefore, most friends and family members can direct their platelet donations to their loved one. Because platelets can only be stored for 3-5 days, it is important that there is consistent support for our patients.

You can help rally friends and family members by sponsoring blood drives for patients as well as arranging for group donations in our Donor Center. Encourage friends and family members to go online or call the City of Hope Blood Donor Center at 626-218-7171 to schedule an appointment to donate blood and/or platelets or make arrangements for a blood drive in your community.

To find a blood drive in your community, please call 626-218-7171.

The process is easy and usually takes less than an hour for whole blood and two and a half hours for platelets. After answering a few questions about your medical history, you will undergo a brief mini-physical exam to determine your current health status. You can usually resume everyday activities almost immediately after donating.

Screening tests for donated blood and platelets include:

  • Antibodies to Hepatitis C virus
  • Antibodies to Hepatitis B core/ surface
  • Antibodies to Human T-Lymphotropic
  • Antibodies to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Types 1&2
  • Syphilis
  • NAT testing
  • West Nile Virus
  • Bacteria testing for platelets

In most circumstances, platelet donations do not need be the same blood type.

There is no conclusive information to show that blood from a directed donor is safer than blood from a community donor. Blood collected from both designated and community donors are tested for diseases that can be transmitted by blood. Care should be taken when selecting directed donors; they should never be pressured into donating.

Blood and platelets go to the blood bank for processing and samples are sent out for infectious disease testing. The products are then labeled, stored and transfused when needed.

Whole blood - You may donate whole blood once every eight weeks. The entire process from initial questionnaire to donation usually takes about an hour.

Platelets - The process of donating platelets is similar to donating blood, but you may donate platelets as often as every two weeks.The entire platelet donation process, including paperwork and interview, takes approximately two and a half hours.

Encourage friends and family members to call the City of Hope Blood Donor Center at 626-218-7171 or visit iDonateBlood4Hope.org to schedule an appointment to donate blood and or platelets.

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