General Information about Blood Donations
Florida Blood Services (FBS) requires over 1,000 volunteer donations each weekday to serve the needs of patients
in 61 hospitals and 80 ambulatory care health facilities in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee, Escambia,
Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, and Bay counties.
Volunteer blood donations are a key element to modern medical care. Blood donations unite people from all walks
of life and represent an important civic duty. They are a vital part of therapy for trauma, cancer, surgeries, and other
conditions. Healthy blood donors, as the only source of this lifesaving service, perform an irreplaceable act of care
for friends, family, acquaintances and strangers requiring transfusion.
Donating blood involves risks and potential complications as well as the communication of confidential information.
Blood Donor Suitability
The blood bank makes a determination as to the suitability of all blood donors based on a physical
examination, donor interview, and disease testing. During the donor interview, sensitive and personal
information is obtained from the donor. These questions include questions about the donor’s medical
condition, health status, travel and sexual history. It is important that questions be answered fully and
Adverse Reactions to Donating Blood
While the blood donation process is normally a pleasant experience, it is possible that short-term side effects
can occur such as dizziness, skin irritation, bruising, or fainting. Although remote, it is also possible that
bruising around the vein, an infection, or nerve damage can develop during or after phlebotomy, which is the
process of drawing the blood. On rare occasions, more severe reactions can occur with more serious and
Testing of Donated Blood
Donated blood will undergo testing for viral agents and diseases including but not limited to HIV and
hepatitis C. Abnormal test results will be reported to the donor and to the donor’s parent or legal guardian, if
the donor is under seventeen years of age, consistent with the provision of Florida law. This information is
confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone unless specifically authorized by the donor and the donor’s
parent or legal guardian or required by law. A positive test result for an infectious disease may be reported to
the county health department or as otherwise required by law, where exposure to others may be involved.
Confidentiality of Donor Information
The medical and personal information and results of testing will be held by the blood bank in strict confidence
and will not be disclosed to anyone unless specifically authorized by the donor and the donor’s parent or legal
guardian except where authorized by law. For example, for blood donors who are minors, positive disease
screening results will be reported to the donor and to the donor’s parent or legal guardian, if the donor has not
yet reached his or her seventeenth birthday.
Automated Blood Collection Methods
With automated blood collection equipment, the blood center can collect the exact components that
patients need, and can collect more of these specific components than can be separated from a unit
of whole blood. Blood is collected from a vein in the arm and passed through an Apheresis instrument
that separates the blood into its components. While the blood is being collected, a small amount of
anticoagulant (citrate) is added to the blood to prevent clotting during the procedure. After the targeted
component(s) is/are collected, the remainder of the blood is returned to the donor. The donor may receive
saline solution to help replace fluid lost during the automated collection. The body naturally replaces
the components that are donated: plasma within several hours, platelets within 24 hours and red cells in
about 56 days (112 days for 2-unit Red Blood Cell donation). The amount of white blood cells lost through
donation is too small to be significant, although the long term effect of white blood cell depletion remains
By clicking the button below, I certify that
I have read the above information.