What is Automation?
The automated approach to donating blood makes it possible for donors to have a greater impact on the ever-increasing need for blood products in our communities.
Whole blood is a combination of components, including platelets, red blood cells, plasma and white blood cells. Automated donation separates these components, taking only specific cells, so that donors can have a direct influence on daily patient needs. The selected cells are accumulated while remaining cells are returned to the donor using one-arm or two-arm technology.
This technology allows donors to give a larger quantity of specific cells than a standard donation so your donation has a bigger impact. For example, one automated platelet donor produces one complete platelet dose for a patient. Meanwhile, it takes eight whole blood donors pooled together to produce one complete platelet dose.
What’s the impact?
One unit of platelets can support leukemia/cancer therapy, open-heart surgery or organ transplants;
Double red blood cell donations are the most needed with trauma, surgery or anemia; Plasma units are used to treat patients with bleeding disorders;
White blood cells are used when other antibiotic therapies have failed for fighting infection.
An automated donation can make the difference between saving the lives of one or two patients. The process takes 90-120 minutes to complete and is completely safe. Donors must meet the same eligibility requirements as a whole blood donor and are asked not to take aspirin or aspirin-like products 48 hours prior to the automated donation. Your FBC phlebotomist will be able to help you determine if automated is the best option for you.
Florida’s Blood Centers is excited to introduce you to ALYX, a new way for blood donors to be a hero to twice as many people in the community with fewer visits to the blood center. Through ALYX, donors are able to give two units of red cells during one visit – providing double the impact for patients requiring the most critically needed blood types. Also, this technology is portable, meaning most of our Big Red Buses provide this donation option for you!We know you’ll enjoy meeting ALYX. Many donors feel better after an ALYX donation. The process takes just 20-25 minutes, it requires a smaller needle than a typical donation and fluid is replaced back into the body, which reduces tiredness and the feeling of dizziness some donors experience.
Can I donate on ALYX?
ALYX donors must have a higher level of iron than needed for a typical blood donation. Because of critically short supply, ALYX is recommended for donors with types O, B and A-negative. The FBC technician will be able to help you make the best decision for your donation. Men and women have different total blood volumes. So, males must be at least 5’1” tall and weigh at least 130 pounds to donate on ALYX. Women must be at least 5’5” tall and weigh at least 150 pounds. These requirements are set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.