Directed Blood Donations

Blood Donation - General

  • Each year, millions of individuals rely on blood transfusions to treat both acute care needs such as trauma, and for ongoing disease management. The blood community's top priority is maintaining the safety and adequacy of the blood supply on behalf of these patients.
  • The blood supply in the United States is exceptionally safe and most patients’ blood needs, including those with complex blood type matching requirements, are met through community volunteer blood donations and the work of highly skilled transfusion medicine professionals.
  • Multiple safeguards, including extensive donor screening protocols and infectious disease testing, ensure the safety and availability of the blood supply for all patients.
  • All U.S. blood collectors are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the collection, manufacture and distribution of blood components.
  • AABB strongly encourages every eligible American to support the continued availability of blood by scheduling a donation appointment or volunteering to support a blood drive.

Directed Blood Donation

  • The foundation of the nation’s blood supply is volunteer community blood donation.
  • More than 10.7 million red blood cells are transfused annually in the United States, and just 0.1% are medically necessary autologous or directed donations, according to the 2021 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey.
  • Patients requiring specially selected units are transfused every day without the directed donations.
  • Blood collectors support medically indicated autologous and directed blood donations and have processes to qualify such requests, which generally include consultation with patients’ providers.


AABB offers additional members-only resources on this topic:

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