Patients who may need a transfusion can ask a friend or relative to donate specifically for them. These donors are called directed donors. Their donation is reserved for the intended patient, provided it is “compatible.” If the directed donor is not compatible, and therefore not safe for the patient, the directed donation will be made available for another patient. In this way, directed donations also help ensure that there is an adequate blood supply for all our patients.
- Have the same or compatible blood type
- In good health, weigh at least 110 lbs.
- No tattoos or piercings in the past 12 months
- No travel to malaria endemic countries in the past 12 months
- No history of anemia
The decision to use directed donations in place of volunteer community donations should be made after discussing the patient’s blood requirements with his or her physician. The UC Irvine Blood Center will meet the patient’s transfusion needs whether or not he or she chooses to have directed donors. The UC Irvine Blood Donor Center routinely stocks blood products collected from volunteer community donors.
No, there are no additional charges to the patient or the donor for directed donations if the blood donation is collected and processed at UCI.
While directed donations are sometimes perceived to be safer than volunteer community donations, there is no current scientific information that suggests this is true. Blood products from both directed and community donors are screened and tested in exactly the same way for diseases that can be transmitted by blood, including but not limited to different kinds of hepatitis, HIV, HTLV-I/II and syphilis.