Is there anything special I should do before I donate?

You should eat calcium rich foods at your regular meal times and avoid fatty foods. It is important to stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids before donating. Prior to donating, you should avoid caffeine and alcohol and get a good night sleep.

What additional precautions does HemaCenter take to ensure donor safety, especially with respect to COVID-19?

  • Masks must be worn at all times in the building and the center.
  • Employees wear masks and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.
  • Employee and donor temperature screens are conducted upon entry to the center.
  • COVID-19 exposure history is part donor screening
  • Employees and donors maintain social distancing, whenever possible.
  • Enhanced daily cleaning and disinfecting procedures have been instituted.
  • Our team continues to monitor and follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and take appropriate steps as changes are recommended by the CDC.

What safety procedures are utilized at HemaCenter?

At HemaCenter, we adhere to the strictest safety practices as part of our commitment to employee and donor health and well-being. Our cleaning professionals deep clean and disinfect the center routinely, and our staff thoroughly cleans and disinfects the center after every donor. All cleaning protocols use company-approved cleaning agents.

Can I get the HIV by donating ?

No. You cannot get any transmissible disease or viruses, including HIV, by donating. The materials used for each donor are sterile, disposable, and used only in one donation.

Does donating hurt? Are there any serious risks?

Leukapheresis is relatively painless, although it may cause discomfort, redness, and bruising at the venipuncture (vein puncture) site. Apheresis is common and regularly used for plasma and platelet donations. Donors may feel cold during the procedure, so blankets are provided to make sure you are comfortable. Fainting, although rare, may also occur. An abnormal drop in blood calcium may cause muscle spasms or numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. HemaCenter can provide calcium to help prevent this effect.

Is it necessary for me to share my personal information to donate?

Yes, it is. Your medical history and current medical status serve a number of purposes in the donation process. Since your cells will be used in medical research and could potentially be incorporated into a therapy, we must ensure the utmost safety of its use. This includes screening for infectious diseases per U.S. FDA regulations.