Central Blood Bank


Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body, and help in the removal of carbon dioxide from our system. Red blood cells are most needed by patients after significant blood loss through trauma, surgery or anemia.

A double red blood cell (2RBC)  donation is an special donation process done at Central Blood Bank in which whole blood is withdrawn, red cells are separated and retained and the remainder of the blood is returned to the donor. An 2RBC donation  safely removes two times the red blood cells that a traditional whole blood donation provides.

Because your donation will result in two units of red cells, it is possible for you to help two patients. Or, in some cases, a 2RBC donation can help one particular patient when it is better for the patient to receive transfusions from the same donor.

Type O red cells are the most in-demand component in area hospitals. O negative is the universal red cell donor and can be transfused to all patients, which is especially beneficial in emergency situations. A negative and B negative red blood cells can be transfused to four blood types each. These blood types are needed to donate double red blood cells.

Donors can donate double red blood cells every 16 weeks.

The basic qualifications for 2RBC donors are similar to those for whole blood donations. The minimum age is 17 (16-and 17-years-old with signed parental consent form*). For a double red blood cell procedure, men must weigh at least 130 pounds and be at least 5’1” tall; women must weigh at least 150 pounds and be at least 5’3’’ tall. The height/weight qualifications may be slightly different based on the machine used.

*Download the parental consent form in English or Spanish (will open as a .pdf).

Because there is a special process involved with donating double red blood cells, Central Blood Bank collects double red blood cells at targeted mobile blood drives and at specific community donor centers:

Armstrong County Memorial Hospital
Beaver Monroeville
Butler Moon Township
Cranberry Natrona Heights
Crawford County North Hills
Downtown Pittsburgh
Peters Township
Green Tree South Hills
Greensburg St. Clair Hospital
Greenville Washington
Grove City Weirton
Harmar/Fox Chapel Area