Here is a step by step description of what happens when you come in to donate.
Donating blood will take approximately 1 hour from start to finish, while donating platelets will take approximately 2.5-3 hours.
The new 1,500-square-foot space accommodates eight donor beds. Of these, six beds will be used to collect what is referred to as "whole blood," the process most donors are familiar with. Whole blood, after its collection, is separated into its component parts – red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitated AHF (antihemophilic factor) – and used in separate transfusions to help save lives. Between filling out forms, getting screened and actually giving blood, it takes about one hour to make a whole blood donation.
Two of the donor beds will be used for donations of platelets, the part of the blood that aids in clotting – important for emergencies – and helps patients with cancer, leukemia, transplants and blood disorders. In a process called apheresis, whole blood is drawn, selected component parts are separated out, and the rest of the blood is safely returned to the donor. Since platelet donations can take up to two hours, donors sit in ergonomically designed contoured chairs, with access to computers with Internet access and a choice of movies to watch.