Health Information

Blood Donations and Blood Banking

What is blood banking?

Blood banking is the process that takes place in a laboratory to ensure that the donated blood or blood products are safe before they are used in blood transfusions and other medical procedures. Blood banking includes typing the blood for compatibility and testing for infectious diseases.

Facts about blood banking:

Who are the blood donors?

Most blood donors are volunteers. However, sometimes a patient may want to donate blood a couple of weeks before undergoing surgery, so that his/her blood is available in case a blood transfusion is necessary. Donating blood for yourself is called an autologous donation.

To further ensure the safety of the blood donation process and available blood supply, volunteer blood donors must pass certain criteria, including the following:

Some states permit persons younger than 17 years to donate blood with parental consent.

What tests are performed in blood banking?

A certain set of standard tests are performed in the laboratory once blood is donated, including, but not limited to, the following:

What are the blood types?

According to the American Association of Blood Banks, distribution of blood types in the US includes the following:

What are the components of blood?

While blood or one of its components may be transferred, each component serves many functions:

Albumin, immune globulins, and clotting factor concentrates may also be separated and processed for transfusions.

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