Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine Division

The Division of Transfusion Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia consists of a Blood Bank and Transfusion Service, Apheresis Service, Cell and Gene Therapy Laboratory, Tissue Bank, Surgical Satellite Facilities and the CHOP King Of Prussia Blood Bank.

We receive blood products from the American Red Cross and sponsor 4 employee blood drives a year at our Main Hospital and the Roberts Pediatric Research Building. We also provide an Autologous and/or Directed Donor Collection Service through our blood supplier, The American Red Cross.  We perform over 25,000 transfusions a year including leukoreduced red blood cells and platelets, fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate, granulocytes, and fresh whole blood.

Our diverse patient populations consist of hematology and oncology patients including a large comprehensive sickle cell program as well as surgical patients including a large cardiothoracic and craniofacial patient population.  The Transfusion Service is active in participating in research in the area of blood utilization, freshness of blood, and sickle cell patient alloimmunization. The Apheresis Service performs over 1,000 procedures a year focused primarily on red blood cell exchange, plasma exchange, hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) and T cell collections and extracorporeal photopheresis. 

The Cell and Gene Therapy Laboratory supports an active transplant service by processing, storage, and manipulation of stem cells as well as participating in translational research, such as the CART-19 therapies and gene therapy protocols for hemoglobinopathies, progressing research in this area forward.

The Division works closely with the OR to support an active tissue transplant service and to provide tissue and blood products at our surgical satellite facilities.

Directed Donations

What is a directed donation?

A directed donation is when a patient or patient’s guardian chooses someone they know to donate blood products for the patient's transfusion.

Who can provide a directed donation?

  • Directed donors must have a blood type that is compatible with the patient’s blood.
  • Directed donors must be healthy and feeling well to give blood.
  • Donations from a father to the mother of his children are not allowed due to risk to future pregnancies.

How can I become a directed donor?

  • The patient's healthcare provider must submit a request to the Red Cross for a special collection at least 10 working days before the blood is needed.
  • Red Cross staff will contact you and review your medical history to determine if donation is safe for you.
  • You will be scheduled for a donation appointment where your blood will be collected
  • Appointments must be made at least 3 days before the collection date.
  • Directed donor and autologous red cell products are collected at the American Red Cross, not at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • The donor presents to the blood collection site at the scheduled time and completes a history questionnaire. *Note: Not every directed donor will be eligible to give blood.

What happens after the direct donation?

  • Directed donor blood undergoes the same testing as blood from regular volunteer donors, including infectious disease tests such as HIV and hepatitis C virus.
  • The directed donation will be tagged by Red Cross staff with the intended recipient’s name and will be shipped to the CHOP Blood Bank where it will be stored until the transfusion is needed.
  • The Blood Bank has no information about directed donations until a product is actually received at the CHOP Blood Bank.