Donation types

Whole blood

You can give blood every 56 days, which is six times per year.

The body quickly replenishes the small quantity of blood collected—slightly less than a half litre (450 ml).

A whole blood donation takes about 10 minutes. The entire process takes about an hour.

The whole blood donation is then processed into its various blood components, which encourages the transfusion of products that correspond to patients’ specific needs.

You can make a whole blood donation at:

For any question concerning blood donation, you can call Donor Services

play

Donovan wanted it to be his moment


Plasma by apheresis

You can donate plasma by apheresis once every six days, which is up to 52 times a year.

How is plasma collected?
Plasma can be collected in two ways:

  • It is extracted from whole blood by centrifugation and fragmentation;
  • It is extracted using an apheresis device, which collects whole blood, separates the plasma from the red blood cells, places the plasma in a collection bag and returns the red blood cells to the donor. This is called a donation by apheresis.

Why collect pure plasma samples?
The plasmapheresis procedure allows for the collection of a higher volume of plasma (500 ml) than what can be produced from a whole blood donation (250 ml). By collecting pure plasma samples, Héma-Québec can make better use of blood products. Through the generosity of plasma donors, it is possible to meet the plasma needs of Quebecers more easily.

How long does the plasma donation take?
It takes about 45 minutes to make a plasma donation by apheresis. The entire process takes between an hour and fifteen minutes and an hour and a half.

Where can I donate plasma by apheresis?
This program is available at the Laurier Québec GLOBULE Blood Donor Centre in Québec and at the Plasma Donor Lounge PLASMAVIE, in Trois-Rivières.

Plasma Compatibility

RecipientCompatible plasma
Group OO, A, B, AB
Group AA, AB
Group BB, AB
Group ABAB

Donors with blood types A+, B+, AB+ or O+ who want to give more often are particularly sought after.

***Height and weight restrictions apply for plasma donors, for more information please call 1-800-847-2525.

play

Marcel has discovered plasma donation


Platelets by apheresis

You can donate platelets once every 14 days, up to 24 times a year.

How are platelets collected?
Platelets can be obtained in two ways:

  • Whole blood donation: A donation of whole blood contains a small quantity of platelets. These are separated by centrifugation.
  • Donation of platelets by apheresis: Platelets are separated during the donation using high-tech equipment connected to the donor. The automated cell separator is connected to the donor’s arm in order to draw the whole blood. It then separates the platelets and returns the other components to the donor.

It takes five whole blood donations to obtain the same quantity of platelets gathered in a single donation by apheresis!

Why choose to donate platelets by apheresis?

  • Because you can contribute up to 24 times a year toward the survival of suffering people. In fact, you can make a donation of platelets every 14 days. Your body produces millions of platelets a minute. The incredible rapidity with which platelets are regenerated makes it possible for a donor to recover fully. Comparatively, you can make only 6 donations of whole blood annually.
  • Because platelets can be stored only for 5 days.
  • Because it takes five donors of whole blood to obtain the same quantity of platelets received through a single donation by apheresis.
  • Because there is less chance the platelets will be rejected by the recipient's body when platelets are transfused from a single donor.

What is the process of donating platelets by apheresis?
This method of platelet collection takes two hours and is performed through an automated process called plateletpheresis.

During the collection, the blood donor’s blood flows through the tubing into the apheresis instrument. Through centrifugation, the apheresis instrument extracts only the donor’s platelets which are collected in a sterile bag. The rest of the blood flows back through the tubing to the donor.

This is a sterile procedure, and the disposable materials are only used once before being discarded.

For your ultimate comfort, the donation by apheresis is carried out under the constant supervision of a professional nurse.

Where can I donate platelets by apheresis?
You can donate platelets at one of Héma-Québec’s GLOBULE Blood Donor Centres.

play

Donald decided to try it and was hooked


Allogeneic

We share a common interest with Quebecers in maintaining the collective blood supply at an appropriate level. More than 3,000 blood drives are organized every year for this purpose. Donors contribute to the collective blood supply for all patients in Québec requiring a transfusion. This type of donation, made for an unknown patient, is known as an allogeneic donation.

Autologous

In special circumstances, donors have the choice of banking their own blood for their own personal use. This is known as an autologous donation. A patient who is expecting to undergo surgery in the near future can have their own blood drawn and banked until the transfusion takes place.

Autologous donations are not permitted when the likelihood of transfusion is low.

Before the donation, the attending physician must evaluate the patient’s state of health in order to ensure that they can give blood. The autologous donor must also meet Héma-Québec’s general eligibility requirements.

As many as four autologous donations can be made in four weeks, up to three days before the scheduled surgery.

The autologous donations are collected at our GLOBULE Blood Donor Centres.

The blood collected must undergo the standard battery of screening tests (see donation qualification) before being declared safe for use.

If the patient-donor does not use the autologous donation, it will be disposed of since no one else can use it.

Directed

A directed donation is blood drawn from a donor selected by a patient who must undergo surgery. This type of donation is made primarily by one of the patient’s relatives.

Several studies have shown that directed donations are not any safer than allogeneic donations. However, when a patient’s attending physician recommends a directed donation, we provide this service in the interest of reducing the psychological stress involved in anticipation of an operation and a transfusion.