There are about one billion red blood cells in two or three drops of blood.
Yes, as long as there is no broken skin or localised infection.
The minimum weight is 50kg for whole blood donation, however first time donors must also meet height and weight criteria. The criteria are based on international best practice which recommends donors give no more than 15% of their total blood volume in any whole blood donation, to ensure the donor’s health is protected.
The amount of blood your body contains is proportional to your weight: heavier people have a larger volume of blood. If a standard donation of 470mL plus test samples is too large a proportion of your blood volume, you will be unable to donate. Find out if you meet the height and weight criteria for whole blood by using our handy quiz
Apheresis: (Plasma or Platelet donors)
We will not normally accept new apheresis (plasma or platelet) donors who weigh less than 58kg, unless the donor has a special antibody that is needed to make a special treatment product.
These criteria are in place to protect your health as a donor. If your weight becomes acceptable for blood donation at any time you can be accepted as a blood donor.
Find out if you meet the height and weight criteria for plasma by using our handy quiz
Is there any upper weight limit for blood donors?
Yes, this is related to the maximum safe capacity of our donor chairs which may vary from site to site.
To find out specific information about your local collection centre, call your local Donor Centre or 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325) and ask to speak with a nurse.
See also "height"
Approximately 45% is red cells and 55% is plasma, a very small proportion is platelets. The blood components prepared from each donation contain approximately:
Less than 4% of New Zealanders donate each year, yet over 27,000 of us need blood each year. This means that fewer than 4% of the people in our communities are supporting 100% of our blood needs.
Anyone in need, anywhere in the country. People such as accident victims, patients undergoing surgery, recipients of organ and bone marrow transplants and those undergoing treatment for leukaemia. You can be sure that no matter who receives it, he or she will be very grateful. See here
Back at the laboratory the blood is filtered to remove the white blood cells. It is then spun in a centrifuge and separated to make different blood components. These are red cells, plasma and platelets. In addition, the filter removes the white cells. The four bags are needed at different stages of these processing steps.
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