Donate Blood

Donating Blood Components (Automated  Donation)

Successful whole blood donors are sometimes asked to try an automated donation. Automated Donation (also called apheresis) is a process where specialized equipment collects specific blood components – platelets, plasma or red blood cells – and returns the rest of your blood to you. The benefit of an automated donation is that a greater volume of components may be collected at a time, which means your blood can help more patients with each donation.

  • Advanced cancer treatments and the increasing number of marrow and organ transplants have created a greater demand for blood components.
  • Not all donors have the physical characteristics or available time to give components. See if you are a candidate.
  • Automated donation uses sterile, disposable needles and tubing. You’ll never come into contact with the machine or the blood of another donor.
  • An automated donation can take 2-3 hours, but we provide a great selection of DVDs to watch while you save lives!
  • You earn more MyBloodSource Rewards per donation and can donate more frequently – to redeem for great items at the MyBloodSource store. You can also schedule your next donation appointment and check on your pre-donation health stats – sign up today!

Donating blood components is a great way to help with the mission of a safe and plentiful blood supply. Learn more about donating blood components.  

All Donation Types
  • Donors must be 18  years old (or 16 - 17 years old with a BloodSource parent consent form - English / Spanish)
  • Eligibility and frequency vary by age, gender, and donation type
  • Many donors are eligible to donate multiple components in a single visit
  • Donors are encouraged to work with their BloodSource professional to give what's needed today with consideration to eligibility, convenience, and availability
  • Final eligibility is determined at time of donation
  • Platelet donors help patients in cancer treatment, organ recipients, and those with traumatic injuries.
  • Platelets are only viable for five days after donation so a constant supply is vitally important.
  • Platelet donors should avoid aspirin and/or aspirin products 48 hours prior to donation; avoid oily/fatty foods 24 hours prior to donation.
  • Platelet donations take 1.5 – 2.5 hours.
  • Platelet donors can give every two weeks up to a maximum of 24 times per year.
  • Plasma donors help patients with burns, recovering from organ transplants, fighting blood disease or receiving plasma-based medicine. There are different ways to donate plasma:
    • Transfusable plasma: Male donors 18 years and older (16-17 years old with signed BloodSource  parent consent form) may donate transfusable plasma every 28 days and some may qualify for our frequent plasma program giving up to twice weekly, closely monitored by BloodSource medical staff; female platelet donors may be eligible to donate transfusable plasma as part of their platelet donation; transfusable plasma may be frozen for up to one year.
    • Source plasma: Male and female donors donate to help patients in need of plasma-based medicine such as immunoglobulins that may be needed for an entire lifetime; source plasma donations are combined with other source plasma donations and are designated for lifesaving medicines at time of collection. If possible, we would like to see source plasma donors every two weeks or even more frequently.
  • Plasma donors should avoid fatty or oily foods 24 hours prior to donation
  • Most plasma donations take about 1.5 hours
Double Red Cells

Double Red Blood Cell donation (DRBC) is especially helpful during seasons when it is more challenging to collect blood, such as summertime and holidays. This type of donation works well for people who may want to give less often for convenience and availability considerations.

  • Eligible donors may be able to give two pints of red blood cells in a single donation every 16 weeks (112 days).
  • Donors must be aged 18 years or older, 16 and 17 year old donors may donate with parental consent.
  • BloodSource staff will review additional eligibility requirements.

Schedule an Appointment

Schedule an appointment to give blood at one of our convenient BloodSource Donor Centers located throughout Northern and Central California.

Find out what type of donation is most needed at this time, call





There are many opportunities to donate blood and help patients in need. Learn about the different donation opportunities including whole blood, platelets and plasma.

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