Apheresis Blood Collection (ABC) FAQs
What are the possible side effects?
Like whole blood, ABC donations differ between individuals. Reactions to doing ABC are similar to reactions when giving whole blood. During an ABC donation, the technician can give you sterile fluids to replace the blood volume lost during the donation. Many donors actually feel better after an ABC donation than after a whole blood donation where no volume is replaced. If you feel any discomfort, adjustments can be made to assure you have a pleasant experience.
I don't mind donating, but I don't like the idea of anything coming back into me.
Many first-time ABC donors express this concern. Remember that each procedure uses a sterile, single-use, disposable tubing set. This eliminates the risk of "catching anything" during the procedure. In addition, most donors can't even tell when the blood is coming out or going in. It shouldn't feel much different than when you donate whole blood.
How do I know I won't get something from someone else's blood in the machine?
Cleanliness and sterility are of utmost importance to us. Each procedure uses a sterile, single-use, disposable tubing set. The tubing is all enclosed so blood doesn't ever come into contact with the machine. When a donor finishes his/her donation, the entire tubing set is removed from the machine and the set is discarded.
I don't think I could handle a needle in my arm for that long.
The needle for ABC is smaller than the one used for whole blood donation, and many donors find it more comfortable. Since ABC takes a little longer than a whole blood donation, we also offer a few comforts to help pass the time:
- Electric blankets to keep donors warm and cozy
- Free wireless Internet access so donors can use their laptops
- DVD players and headsets at each ABC chair and full access to our DVD library, for donors to be relaxed and entertained
Who can I contact about ABC, and where can I donate?