Knowing What Happens After You Donate Blood

Blood donations are always needed in every community, including the Thousand Oaks area. Patients who come into the emergency room or trauma center may require multiple units of donated blood. However, there is also an ongoing need for donated blood for patients who are undergoing non-emergent surgery, cancer treatments, blood disorder treatments, and other medical procedures. The providers at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center would like to extend our thanks to first-time and regular blood donors.

Collecting

When you go to the hospital or blood drive location to donate, you’ll first undergo a medical screening designed to support your health and safety, and to ensure that every blood recipient only receives safe, usable blood. During flu season and throughout the year, it’s important for blood donors to be alert to the signs of a possible infection and to reschedule the appointment to donate blood if they are feeling unwell.

Processing

After you give blood, the technician scans the blood unit into a computer database. Then, the donated blood is processed in a centrifuge, which separates the various components of the blood . These primary components, which are plasma, red blood cells, and platelets, may undergo further processing. For example, the plasma may be processed into cryoprecipitate. This is a frozen blood product that may be used for certain patients, including those with hemophilia or excessive anticoagulation.

Testing

Every blood donation undergoes rigorous testing. The laboratory performs about a dozen tests on each test tube of donated blood to check for infectious diseases and to determine the blood type. In the event that a test for the disease is positive, the donated blood is discarded and the blood donor is made aware of the test results.

Storing

The blood that passes the testing process is labeled. Red blood cells are stored in refrigeration units for a maximum of 42 days. Platelets can be stored for five days at room temperature. Plasma and cryoprecipitate may be frozen for up to one year.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center encourages our neighbors in the Thousand Oaks area to help save lives by becoming blood donors. There is always a critical need for donated blood in our Emergency Room, cardiology department, and throughout our community hospital. For general information about donating blood, you can contact our hospital at (877) 888-5746 and speak with a registered nurse.

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