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People who are thinking about donating blood often have questions (Picture 1). Here are answers to the questions most often asked about directed blood donations.
A directed blood donation allows a family member or a friend who has a compatible blood type to donate blood for your child's transfusion.
Your doctor will decide if your child might need a blood transfusion and how many units of blood may be needed.
No. The process of donating and testing the blood is exactly the same as for all other blood donations. Each donor is asked questions about their health and risk factors for disease. The donated blood is carefully tested for hepatitis, syphilis and the AIDS virus before it is sent to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The safety of any blood donation greatly depends on the donor giving the Red Cross nurse complete and truthful answers to health-screening questions. Sometimes friends or family may feel pressured into making a directed donation, even though they would rather not answer questions about their health or lifestyle. Even if you know the donor personally, there is still a chance that a directed donation may transmit disease.
You, your family and your friends may feel a sense of comfort knowing where the blood came from. However, directed donations are no safer than the general community blood supply. The Red Cross has many years' experience in identifying the very safest blood donors for all patients.
No. There are times when directed blood donations will not be able to meet all of your child's need for blood. Except for those patients who need open heart surgery, it may take at least 5 working days from the time of donation for the directed blood to arrive at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This means that directed donations are not possible for emergencies and unscheduled transfusions. Your doctor will discuss your child's needs and help you decide whether to choose directed blood donations.
Yes. There is an added cost because directed donations have to be stored and handled separately from the community blood supply. To avoid wasting blood and receiving unnecessary charges, please be sure to match the number and timing of directed donations with your child's transfusion needs. Check your plans with your child's doctor.
The donor may donate blood up to 40 days before it is needed, but often fresh blood is required.
Carriage Place Donor Center, Dublin
2674 Bethel Rd.
Westbelt Donor Center, Hilliard
4327 Equity Drive
StoneRidge Donor Center, Gahanna
337 StoneRidge Lane
(614) 253-2740 ext 2354
Directed donors need to meet all the same standards as other blood donors. Some of the people you recruit may not pass screening or testing. For that reason, you may wish to find 1 or 2 more donors than you need. If you want to know how many units of blood have been donated, ask your child's doctor or nurse to call the Blood Bank at (614) 722-5391.
If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.
Blood Donation: Directed (PDF)
HH-II-108 12/91, Revised 11/05 Copyright 1991-2005, Nationwide Children’s Hospital