Types of Donations

Patients Rely on You! Every blood type has a unique superpower. Depending on your blood type, you may be asked to donate a specific blood product (like red cells, plasma, or platelets) to make your donation as effective as possible. There is no artificial substitute for blood. Blood can’t be manufactured in a lab—it has to come from willing volunteer donors like you.

Whole Blood

Whole blood donation is the most common and straightforward way to donate blood. When you donate whole blood, you are providing a mixture of red blood cells, plasma, and platelets – the essential components needed for various medical treatments. The process typically takes about 10-15 minutes, but the impact lasts a lifetime.


Platelet donation is an automated process where a machine collects platelets from a donor while returning red cells and most plasma. People with A and AB blood types are encouraged to make platelet donations based on patient needs. Donors meeting whole blood donation criteria can usually donate platelets, but their platelet count must be verified for safety.

Double Red Cells

A red cell donation involves an automated process where two patient doses of red blood cells are collected in a single donation event. This procedure separates blood components in real-time, collecting red blood cells while returning platelets and plasma to the donor. The process is conducted through a machine, utilizing a smaller needle and providing transfusable red blood cells for two patients.

White Blood Cells

While many Hoxworth donors may be familiar with donating whole blood or platelets, white cells donations are a bit different than Hoxworth’s typical collections in a number of ways. First, while a whole blood donor can walk into a donor center and give whenever they have the time, white cell donations only occur when there is a specific patient need. White cells have a shelf life of only 24 hours, and are transfused to the patient on the same day as the donation. If a patient is in need of white cells, their physician will call Hoxworth to put in an order for a specifically matched blood type.