What to expect at your next donation
Memorial Blood Centers continues to improve convenience and provide a more efficient experience for our blood donors. At your next donation, you may notice changes due to our computer system upgrade that went live on March 24, 2019.
iDonate is now mobile-friendly! Save time by reviewing the donor education materials and completing your health history questionnaire ahead of time, on the day of your donation. Access iDonate from your phone, tablet, or desktop. Get started or learn more now.
- Registration and physical exam
Donors are asked to share ethnicity to help precisely match blood donors with patients in need.
As you may know, blood types go beyond ABO groups and Rh positive/negative, and advanced matching of blood donations to patients in need is becoming more precise. For example, African-American donors are more likely to have unique blood characteristics that best match patients with sickle cell disease.
Having donor ethnicity information will help our laboratory teams more efficiently identify donations that may be the best match for a sickle cell patient. Read more about our specialty programs here.
Donors will be asked to confirm gender at each donation.
Asking donors to confirm their gender at each donation helps keep donors and patients safe by ensuring that a donor’s eligibility is based on their most current self-reported information. Being licensed and regulated by the FDA, we must ensure gender-specific risk factors are comprehensively addressed when determining eligibility. Donor and patient safety is our number-one priority.
Memorial Blood Centers welcomes donors of all genders and identities, and we do not defer donors based on gender or sexual orientation. Our new gender options were chosen with input from the LGBT community.
If you have questions about deferral or gender identification, you are encouraged to call Donor Suitability at 1-888-235-3301.
- Donor identification (ID) numbers
With our system upgrade and change, all donors received a new Donor ID number.
Don’t worry, your existing Donor ID number still works. You may even hear our Donor Specialists refer to it as your legacy ID number.
Your new Donor ID number will not impact your Hero Hub account. When you log in to your account, you will notice your new Donor ID number.
Memorial Blood Centers has made the following updates to eligibility* policies:
Eligible donors may now donate platelets every seven days, up to a maximum of 24 times per year. This applies for single, double, or triple platelet donations.
Seven days after donating plasma or platelets, a donor is eligible to donate whole blood or double red cells. This applies for single, double, or triple platelet donations.
All male platelet and plasma donors will be weighed to ensure they meet minimum requirements.
Our system upgrade allows us to track donor fluid loss at each platelet donation, so that you can safely donate more often. Talk with your Donor Specialist at your next donation about the right donation frequency for you.
- Donation counts
How we calculate gallon milestones has changed. Donations are now counted by donation type, not by product collected. Any donation given after March 24, 2019 will be counted the following way:
A whole blood, platelet, or plasma donation counts as 1 credit toward a gallon milestone.
A double red cell donation counts as 2 credits toward a gallon milestone.
While the credit earned per specialty donation may have changed, your specialty donation will continue to provide double or triple the live-saving units for patients in need.
This change in donation counts will impact the rate of progression for gallon level achievement, but will not impact points earned for donors enrolled in the loyalty store. If you’d like to learn more about the loyalty store, please log into your Hero Hub account and click on the loyalty program icon.
We acknowledge that these system upgrades have many benefits and some limitations. We appreciate your patience as we continue to implement our new system. We are thankful that you choose to continue donating with Memorial Blood Centers.
*Please note: This is not an all-inclusive list of changes made during our 2019 system upgrade.
The information provided here covers general guidelines established by Memorial Blood Centers and the Food and Drug Administration. Conditions and restrictions governing blood safety and blood donation may change at any time. Please contact Memorial Blood Centers online or call 1-888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) to verify eligibility prior to making an appointment or if you have questions regarding these recent changes.