Special Donations

In addition to accepting community blood donations, Blood Centers of the Pacific offers the following services:

Autologous Donation

While the community blood supply is extremely safe, a patient’s own blood is safest for him/her. Patients planning elective surgery requiring blood transfusion may be able to donate blood for themselves prior to surgery. This is called autologous donation. Patient’s health status and red blood count (hemoglobin or hematocrit) determine whether they can donate; final approval rests with the medical director of Blood Centers of the Pacific. The patient’s doctor decides how much blood is needed. Blood Centers of the Pacific collects processes and tests the blood and delivers it to the transfusing facility. Blood may be collected up to 42 days before the date of use, but no later than seven working days prior to date of anticipated use. A special processing fee is charged for this service because additional record-keeping and handling are required, even if the blood is not used by the donor. Autologous blood cannot be used for other patients.

Advantages of Autologous Donation

  • Prevents transfusion-transmitted disease.
  • Prevent red cell alloimmunization.
  • Decreases the number of banked allogeneic units needed.
  • Provides compatible blood for patients with alloantibodies.
  • Prevents some adverse transfusion reactions.
  • Provides reassurance to patients concerned about blood risks.

Disadvantages of Autologous Donation

  • Does not eliminate risk of bacterial contamination.
  • Does not eliminate risk of ABO incompatibility error.
  • Is more costly than allogeneic blood.
  • Results in wastage of blood that is not transfused.
  • Increased incidence of adverse reactions by the donor to autologous donation.
  • May subject patients to preoperative anemia, increased likelihood of transfusion, and delayed recovery.

Candidates for Preoperative Autologous Donation

Candidates for preoperative collection are stable patients scheduled for procedures in which blood transfusion is likely.
Autologous collections should be considered for patients likely to undergo:

  • Major orthopedic procedures, most commonly total joint replacement
  • Vascular surgery
  • Cardiac or thoracic surgery

Autologous blood should not be collected for procedures that seldom require transfusion such as:

  • Cholecystectomy
  • Herniorrhaphy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Uncomplicated obstetric delivery

Donor/Patients who are NOT Good Candidates for Autologous Donation

There some contraindications to participation in the autologous blood donation program.
Donor-patients considered not to be candidates are those with:

  • Evidence of infection and risk of bacteremia
  • Scheduled surgery to correct aortic stenosis
  • Unstable angina
  • Uncontrolled seizure disorder
  • Myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident within 6 months of donation
  • Significant cardiac or pulmonary disease who have not yet been cleared for surgery by their treating physician
  • High-grade left main coronary artery disease
  • Cyanotic heart disease
  • Uncontrolled hypertension

Requirements

Because of the special circumstances related to autologous blood transfusion, rigid criteria for donor selection are not required.
The following requirements do apply:

  • An order from the donor-patient’s physician.
  • The hemoglobin concentration of the donor-patient’s blood shall be >11g/dL or the hematocrit, if used, shall be >33%.
  • Both the transfusion service and the requesting physician will be notified of abnormal test results. The transfusion service should have a written policy identifying how autologous units with abnormal test results will be handled.

Donation Frequency

Typically, a donor-patient should donate one unit per week and no more than one unit every three days. For orders of four units or less, donation should start three to four weeks prior to surgery. If more than four units are requested, donation should occur over several months. It is suggested that physicians or donor-patients contact the blood center to determine if freezing red blood cells is available. The donor-patient should also consider using banked allogeneic blood in cases where large volume transfusion is a possibility.

Other Considerations

There are times when surgery is cancelled or postponed. This may require freezing and storing the autologous units. The hospital must contact Blood Centers of the Pacific to discuss if these special handling options are available and the fees for this service.

How to Schedule an Autologous Donation:

Patient’s Physician:

  • Identifies candidate for autologous donation.
  • Requests autologous donation and determines number and types of components to be collected.
  • Completes applicable section of the Special Collections Form BS 365.

Donor/Patient Physician’s Office:

Call Blood Centers of the Pacific at 800-215-6225 to schedule the appointment (walk-ins are not accepted)
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Fax the Special Collections Form BS 365
Fax: 415-749-6635

Note: all autologous donations must be completed at least 7 working days prior to the surgery date.

Blood Centers of the Pacific:

  • Reviews the order for completeness.
  • Contacts donor-patient for any additional information.
  • Collects special donations processing fees when applicable.
  • Collects, processes and tests the donor-patient’s blood.
  • Ships units to hospital blood bank before surgery.
  • Notifies hospital when units will not be available.
  • Notifies hospital of special labeling in cases of abnormal test results. In these situations Blood Centers of the Pacific will notify the requesting physician. The physician and the transfusing facility policy will determine if the unit will be used for transfusion or be discarded.

Fees

Fees for autologous blood donation vary. Some hospitals require that the patient-donor pay for all donations while other hospitals accept the charges from Blood Centers of the Pacific. Please contact Blood Centers of the Pacific at 800-215-6225 to find out how fees will be charged.

Payment must be made at the time of service, via a VISA or MasterCard credit card. No cash, personal checks, Discovery or American Express cards can be accepted. Patient will receive a receipt for submission to their insurance company. Blood Centers of the Pacific is not approved as a Medicare or MediCal provider; therefore, we cannot bill these agencies and they will not reimburse for our services.

To Order

Call or fax your order to Blood Centers of the Pacific – Special Donations Department:
Phone: 800-215-6225 Fax: 415-749-6635

Directed/Designated Donation

Blood Centers of the Pacific offers a comprehensive directed donation program. A directed (or designated) blood donation is one by which a patient selects his/her own blood donor(s) for an anticipated, non-emergency transfusion. The donor is typically a friend or relative to the patient but can be a donor unknown to the patient who has attributes that benefit the patient. A special processing fee is charged for this service because additional recordkeeping and handling are required, even if the blood is not used by the donor.

  • Directed and designated donations are tagged specifically for the recipient.
  • Although the data does not support it, the patient may feel that the blood they receive from people they know is safer than the community blood supply. In some cases, it may be less safe because donors known to the patient may be hesitant to reveal information about their personal or medical history.
  • Directed donors are qualified in the same manner as community blood donors. This allows transfusing facilities to release directed blood to other patients if the intended patient does not receive it. Units with abnormal test results will not be distributed for transfusion.
  • Male spouses do not usually make the most appropriate directed donors. Previously pregnant women can become sensitized against red cell antigens from their children’s father(s), causing adverse reactions in the transfusion recipient.
  • Blood may be collected up to 42 days before the date of use, but no later than seven working days prior to date of anticipated use.
  • Units that are ABO/Rh incompatible with the recipient will not be distributed for the intended recipient or charged to the transfusion facility.

How to Schedule a Directed Donation:

Advance notice to Blood Centers of the Pacific is always required prior to making a directed donation.

Patient’s Physician:

  • Identifies candidate for designated donation.
  • Requests designated donation and determines number and types of components to be collected.
  • Completes applicable section of the Special Collections Form BS 365.
  • Fax Special Collections Form BS 365 to Blood Centers of the Pacific
    Fax: 415-749-6635

Donor/Patient Physician’s Office:

Call Blood Centers of the Pacific at 800-215-6225 to schedule the appointment (walk-ins are not accepted)
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Fax the Special Collections Form BS 365
Fax: 415-749-6635

Blood Centers of the Pacific:

  • Reviews the order for completeness.
  • Contacts donor-patient for any additional information.
  • Collects special donations fees.
  • Collects, processes, tests and stores the blood.
  • Ships units to hospital blood bank before transfusion.
  • Notifies hospital of units that will not be shipped due to unexpected test results.

Fees

Fees for directed blood donation vary. Due to special handling requirements for directed units, it is typical the special handling fees are usually charged to the donor at the time of donation. Some hospitals require that the patient or donor pay for all donations while other hospitals accept the charges from the blood center. Please contact Blood Centers of the Pacific at 800-215-6225 to find out how fees will be charged.

Payment must be made at the time of service, via a VISA or MasterCard credit card. No cash, personal checks, Discovery or American Express cards can be accepted. Patient will receive a receipt for submission to their insurance company. Blood Centers of the Pacific is not approved as a Medicare or MediCal provider; therefore, we cannot bill these agencies and they will not reimburse for our services.

To Order

Call or fax your order to Blood Centers of the Pacific – Special Donations Department:
Phone: 800-215-6225 Fax: 415-749-6635

Hereditary Hemochromatosis Donation Program

Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) is a genetic disease that results in iron overload. The preferred treatment for reducing iron stores is periodic phlebotomy.

In the past, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required that blood collected from people with HH be discarded unless it was labeled as donated by an individual with this condition. Unfortunately, this differentiation of HH labeled blood from volunteer community blood caused hospitals to decline blood from HH donors.

In 2001, however, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that “blood donors with (hereditary) hemochromatosis…do not pose a greater risk to blood safety than other donors,” (NIH press release, 9/25/01). There was no longer a need to distinguish HH blood from community blood. Now, blood centers may receive a variance from FDA regulations that allows them to use this blood for transfusion, without labeling it as HH blood. Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) received such a variance in January, 2003.

If an individual’s blood is collected as a HH, they are NOT eligible as a community donor that day, and will be charged for a therapeutic phlebotomy AND must have an appointment made with Special Donations.

The phlebotomy frequency for each HH patient is determined by their personal physician. Patients who require phlebotomy more often than every 56 days will require a prescription or doctor’s order specifying the frequency.

HH patients who have had previous therapeutic phlebotomies at BCP must be evaluated for donor eligibility before their first community blood donation. Once they are eligible, HH donors can donate at any BCP donation center. Mobile blood drives, however, are not able to take HH donors at this time.

For more information, please contact Special Donations at 800-215-6225.

Therapeutic Phlebotomy

Blood Centers of the Pacific offers two different types of therapeutic phlebotomies:

Patients with Hematological Diseases/Red Cell Disorders
Patients with red cell disorders that impair the function of survival of the red cells are in general not accepted as volunteer blood donors but can be eligible for a “therapeutic phlebotomy” (for example, patients with Polycytemia Vera). Please note: prepayment required.

Patients with Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH)Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) is a disorder of the iron metabolism and not a blood disease. Standard treatment for patients with HH is regular therapeutic phlebotomy.

Eligibility:

Patient eligibility for therapeutic phlebotomy is based on blood center eligibility criteria and will be evaluated on the day of donation.

Blood Centers of the Pacific has been approved by the FDA to use blood collected from patients with HH for regular transfusions.
There is no charge for these donations regardless of their eligibility as blood donors.

How to Schedule a Therapeutic Phlebotomy:

Patient’s Physician:

  • Completes Special Collections Form BS 365T, indicating:
    • Diagnosis
    • Draw intervals
    • Draw amounts
    • Hb level requirements
  • Fax Special Collections Form BS 365T to Blood Centers of the Pacific.
    Fax: 415-749-6635

Donor/Patient Physician’s Office:

Call Blood Centers of the Pacific at 800-215-6225 to schedule an appointment.

Blood Centers of the Pacific:

  • Reviews the order for completeness.
  • Contacts donor-patient for any additional information.
  • Collects, processes, tests and stores the blood, if appropriate.

Fees

There is no fee for HH donations, however, there are fees for those with hematological diseases/red cell disorders. Please call the Special Donations Department at 800-215-6225.

Payment must be made at the time of service, via a VISA or MasterCard credit card. No cash, personal checks, Discovery or American Express cards can be accepted. Patient will receive a receipt for submission to their insurance company. Blood Centers of the Pacific is not approved as a Medicare or MediCal provider; therefore, we cannot bill these agencies and they will not reimburse for our services.

Questions?

Please contact our Special Donations Department at 800-215-6225.