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Blood Bank and Transfusional Medicine:

Frequently Asked Questions

Allogeneic Donation

  1. What is it?

    Allogeneic Donation is the process of donating blood from a donor to a patient. It is the most common type of blood donation.

  2. What is the procedure to follow in the Blood Bank?

    We will ask some personal information such as name, age, address; we’ll check your vital signs, take some blood samples and conduct a medical examination with a confidential questionnaire that allows us to select the best candidate to donate blood.

  3. What happens if I am a suitable donor?

    We collect approximately 400 to 500 ml (1 pt) of blood. (average 450 mL).

  4. May donating blood be harmful to me?

    The most common side effects associated with blood donation are: Pain in the puncture site, hematoma (bruise) or fainting.
    All of the above effects are transient and do not leave sequelae. You will be supported by qualified staff who will assist and guide you at any time.

  5. What is the procedure to follow after donating blood?

    We will provide you an adequate diet with liquids and calories; you should refrain from smoking, intense exercise, or drink alcohol.

  6. What kind of tests are performed on the blood?

     According to health regulations, before being transfused into a patient will be performed to the blood the following tests:

    • Blood biometry for the number of blood cells (hemoglobin, leukocytes and platelets).
    • Blood group  A, B, O and Rh.
    • Tracking of irregular antibodies. (RAI)
      • Hepatitis B
      • Hepatitis C
      • HIV (Human immunodeficiency Virus)
      • Syphilis
      • Chagas disease.

    Note: The study or blood donation does not include tests for glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc.

  7. What happens with the test results?

     72 hours after blood donation, the test results will be available at the Blood Bank and will be delivered in writing or via email.

  8. And if a lab test is positive or I’m rejected as a donor, what should I do?

    If any test is positive, the results will be handed to you IN PERSON so you can go to your physician and he/she will indicate what studies are necessary, to confirm or refute the result.
    If it is not accepted as a donor, they will explain the causes of rejection and, if possible, a future donation.
    You will receive the necessary guidance to follow in case of a positive test result or, if applicable, the reasons why it was not accepted to donate.
    All information concerning them is kept strictly confidential.

  9. How do we ensure the safety of the blood donor?
    The Blood Bank's activities, procedures of care and study of donor and patient, stick to the Mexican legislation and European directives, all processes and laboratory are accredited, thus, comply with the highest quality standards of world class.
    All materials used in different procedures and studies performed at the Blood Bank are new, sterile and disposable.


Autologous Donation

  1. What is it?

    Autologous donation or  “Auto”, is a resource for transfusion medicine, which consists on the collection of blood from a person, to be transfused later to himself/herself.

  2. What are the advantages?
    • Blood compatibility problems are avoided, therefore, risks of transfusion reaction.
    • It helps to prevent transmission of infectious diseases through transfusion (HIV or hepatitis, among other).
    • It eliminates the possibility of alloimmunization.
    • It discards the risks of graft versus host disease.
    • It avoids allergic reactions and fever.
    • It is safe for patients with alloantibodies.
    • Children, older people and people with rare ABO/Rh group can participate.
  3. What are the disadvantages?
    After several autologous donation events, the patient may have reduced his/her level of hematocrit; it cannot be performed if the patient has poor vein quality, it cannot be performed in presence of bacteremia or active infection. 
  4. Who can participate?
    Almost anyone scheduled for a surgery or require later use of blood. Furthermore, the selection of candidates is made between your physician and the Blood Bank physician.
  5. What should be included in the prescription from my physician to the Blood Bank?

    It is essential that the prescription states: 

  1. Patient name
  2. Quantity and type of blood components deemed to be required for the surgery of transfusion.
  3. Presumptive diagnosis.
  4. Type of surgery and date it will be performed.
  5. The name and signature of the physician.
  6. What should the physician consider?
    According to health regulations, even when it is an autologous donation, the following tests must be performed: 
    • Determination of antibodies to HIV 1+2.
    • Determination of Hepatitis B and C.
    • Determination of antibodies against Treponema pallidum.
    • Determination of antibodies against trypanosoma cruzi.

Blood units will be released after 48 hours of being obtained.

The health regulations in Mexico recommend that the time between phlebotomies is not less than 72 hours and in the case of the last phlebotomy, it must occur 72 hours before the scheduled date for surgery or transfusion.

The maximum number of units obtained by autologous donation depends on the patient's hemoglobin.

Blood components derived from each autologous donation are: a unit of packed RBC and fresh frozen plasma unit.

The units obtained are valid for 35 days: completed after this date, and if not required by the patient, will be disposed, which means, will not be used on another person.

Platelet donation

  1. What is plateletpheresis?
    We need to know that the blood is composed of red blood cells (which carry oxygen in the blood), white blood cells (defenses against infection) and platelets (responsible for the initial phase of blood clotting). When you suffer an injury, platelets clog your skin's wound to stop bleeding.
    Plateletpheresis is a very special kind of blood donation, because you only donate part of your blood, platelets only.
  2. Who benefits from platelets donation?
    There are several diseases that cause low platelets; among the most common are leukemia, cancer, anemia and certain infections. Platelets in these diseases may decrease as patients have recurrent bleeding.
  3. How are blood platelets obtained?
    Platelets are obtained by using a special machine or apheresis, which removes a certain amount of blood in the arm and carefully separate the platelets. The apheresis machine, returns the remaining unused blood (red cells and white blood cells); when platelets are donated only part of the blood is donated. Extraction and blood return is made in the same arm, so you need only one puncture.
  4. How long does it take to donate platelets?
    Donating platelets takes place within 1 to 2 hrs., and it lasts longer than an allogeneic donation, because it takes extra time to separate and collect platelets from other blood components.
  5. How often can I donate platelets?
    The healthy human body is able to replace the donated platelets within hours, so you can donate platelets again in 72 hours, with no more than 24 donations per year.
  6. Is there any adverse effect?
    Some donors may feel tingling around the lips, nose and chills for a few minutes. As with any blood donation, there may be pain at the puncture site, hematoma (bruise) and dizziness.
  7. What is the procedure to follow after donating platelets?
    We will provide you an adequate diet with liquids and calories; you should refrain from smoking, intense exercise, or drink alcohol.
  8. What happens with the test results?
    3 workdays after platelets donation, the test results will be available at the Blood Bank and will be delivered in writing or via email.