What is Directed Donation?
Directed donation is when you choose your own blood donors. If your doctor says you may need
a blood transfusion, this may be one option. Some people feel more comfortable if their blood
transfusions come from donors they know. Yet, many doctors do not recommend this as a first
choice. Here are some questions and answers to help you better understand this choice.
Are Donations From Family and Friends
No. Directed donation does not mean safer
blood. There is no proof that blood given by
people close to you is safer than any other
blood supply. In fact, it may be less safe.
Donors you choose may feel pressured to
donate even when they should not.
Having others give blood for you takes
time and planning.
First, you need to get a written order from
your doctor to collect the blood. Next,
appointments at the Red Cross will need to
be scheduled for the donors. After the blood
is given, you need to call the blood center to
check on the final number of units of blood
that your family members or friends were
able to give. Let your doctor know if the
number of units received is less than what
Is There An Added Expense for Directed
There may be extra charges for Directed
donation. While there is no charge for the
blood itself, there are costs for testing and
handling. If the blood is given by your
family members, the blood will need to meet
standard donation criteria. The costs may
not be covered by insurance. You will need
to find out whether your policy covers them.
It is best to check on this before your family
members donate the blood.
Can Any Person I Choose Donate Blood
No. Directed donors must meet the same
basic requirements as other donors. They
must be in good health, weigh at least 110
pounds, and be age 17 or older. The donors
must be free of certain health conditions or
medicines. The blood type of the donors
must be compatible with your own.
If Your Blood Type Is...
You May Receive...
0-, 0+, B-, B+, A-, A+, AB-, AB+
0-, B-, A-, AB-
0-, 0+, A-, A+
0-, 0+, B-, B+
Should Women in Childbearing Years
Receive Blood From Their Partners?
No. Being exposed to your partner's blood
could cause you to produce antibodies
against his blood cells. If you become
pregnant at some later time, these same
antibodies could harm your unborn child.
Why Should Mothers Not Give Blood for
During pregnancy, you could produce
antibodies against your unborn child. If your
son or daughter receives your blood, the
antibodies may cause serious problems.
Possible serious problems include a fatal
breathing problem called TRALI
(Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury).
Will the Blood Given for You Be Tested?
Yes. The blood has the same testing that is
done with all other blood. First, the blood
will be tested to make sure that the blood
type matches your blood type. Next, the
blood is tested for diseases carried by blood-
--hepatitis, syphilis, and AIDS.
How Soon Before Surgery Do My Friends
and Family Need to Donate Blood?
Donations must be made from 10 to 42 days
before surgery. Blood can be stored for only
42 days. Whole blood can only be stored 21
days. And, there must be no less than 10
days to have enough time to collect, process,
test, and ship the blood.
What Should I Do If I Want to Have
Others Donate Blood for Me?
First, discuss this option with your doctor. If
it is an option for you, your doctor will write
the required order. You will be given an
American Red Cross (ARC) “Special Order
Collection” form signed by your doctor.
Next, complete the proper sections of the
form and fax to 1- 309-674-9642 which is
the ARC Madison collection facility. ARC
must have the form before your directed
donor’s blood donation.
Alternate Collection Facilities
For a list of collection facilities outside of Dane County you can call the Madison location Red
Cross at 1-800-733-2767.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©7/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5058.