Different types of donations

What does donating blood involve?

Everyone is concerned the first time they come through the door of a donation session, but the organisation has ensured that the welcome will be friendly and the process, quick and painless. First we make sure you are fit and well enough to give blood, through answering a medical questionnaire.

Most donors are pleasantly surprised just how soon it is over, in about 5-10 minutes we will have collected 440-470mls of blood; this is about ¾ of a pint.

Donors are able to have a short rest following the donation, and you will be invited to have a drink and some biscuits in our refreshment area.

Platelet Donation

The process is similar to giving blood, but we use specialist equipment called a cell separator. The donation typically lasts from 60 to 90 minutes, during which time you can read, watch TV or simply relax. As a platelet donor, you can donate more frequently than whole blood donors, as the cell separator returns your red cells to you.

We operate an appointment system which offers varied hours for your convenience. We have a clinic for platelet donors at the Welsh Blood Service in Talbot Green.

To find out more about platelet donation or to make an appointment ring 01443 622146.

Bone Marrow Donation

Bone marrow donors are asked to donate in one of two ways:

Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which marrow is taken from the back of the pelvic bone using a needle and syringe. No surgical incision is required.

As with any operation that requires a general anaesthetic there is a small but definite risk, donors have a thorough medical health check by an independent doctor to ensure they are fit and well for the procedure.

Most donors feel tiredness and experience some discomfort in their lower back for a few days afterwards, this is usually eased with mild pain relief tablets. Donors are normally able to resume work within one week of their donation.

To find out more about bone marrow donation click here, or to speak with a member of the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry team, ring 0800 371502.

Peripheral blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation is a non-surgical procedure. For 4-5 days leading up to donation, you will be given daily injections of a stimulating factor to increase the number of stem cells in your bloodstream. The donor’s blood is then collected via automated collection (Apheresis) where the blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the bone marrow cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm.

PBSC donors may have flu like symptoms in the five days leading up to donation, these symptoms normally always disappear 1-2 days following donation and the donor is back to normal. As with any procedure the risks will be discussed with you prior to any procedure.

Bone Marrow and PBSC donation normally takes place in a Cardiff or Newport hospital. Bone Marrow donation is voluntary and we are unable to give financial reward to bone marrow donors, however any expenses incurred by you e.g hotel bills or travel expenses will be reimbursed by the Welsh Blood Service.

To find out more about donating Peripheral blood Stem Cells, click here