A List of Commonly Used Terms in Blood Banking

Directed Donation

A directed blood donation, in a nutshell, is a situation in which a patient gets the opportunity to choose their blood donor! Facilities handle this situation differently, but in general, a physician requests in writing that a particular person or persons donate blood specifically for a particular patient (typically, the donors are family members of the patient).

Directed donations are far less common than they were historically, largely because of the fact that concerns about diseases like HIV and hepatitis C from blood transfusion have lessened. Here’s the thing with directed donations: They are statistically NOT any more safe than getting blood from random allogeneic blood donors! A couple of other things to remember: These donors must meet all requirements of allogeneic donors except they may donate more frequently than the regular intervals, and the units may be released for general use if not transfused to the intended patient (this contrasts to autologous donations, which cannot be “crossed over” into regular inventory if unused).

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