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Most blood donors give 1 or 2 times a year, but did you know, depending on the type of donation, you may be eligible up to 24 times a year?

First, it’s good to understand how much blood is in the human body and how much you give with each blood donation. The amount of blood a person has depends on factors like your height, weight and gender, but generally speaking, the average adult has 10 to 12 pints of blood. 

When you give blood, about a pint, or 500 milliliters is collected. A Power Red donation, also known as a double red, collects twice as many of your red cells only (the other blood components are returned to you). 

When you give plasma or platelets, the amount collected depends on your height, weight and factors like platelet count. 

How the body replaces your blood

Your body has an extraordinary ability to replace the blood that is lost during your donation. The liquid portion of your blood, plasma, replenishes in a couple days, and the red blood cells are replaced in about two weeks. 

Platelet components are replaced even more quickly – within a few hours of donating. 

Because of these different rates of replenishment, there are different time frames for how often you can donate blood vs. platelets, plasma and Power Red.

How often can you donate blood?

How often you can donate depends on the type of donation you make. Even though your body replenishes your blood in a few weeks, with an abundance of safety in mind, we want to give your body plenty of time to recuperate.

When you give the typical donation of a pint of whole blood, the waiting period until you can donate again is 56 days or about every two months. You can donate whole blood up to six times a year.

Because a Power Red removes twice the amount of red blood cells, your body needs a bit longer to replace them. Therefore, we ask you to wait 112 days between donations, meaning you can give Power Red donations up to three times a year. 

Platelets are replenished so quickly that you can donate them every seven days, up to 24 times a year. Plasma can be donated every 28 days, up to 13 times a year.

Why should you donate more than once?

Blood is always needed. Every two seconds, a patient in the U.S. requires a transfusion, meaning the blood supply must constantly be replenished. 

Every day, about 30,000 units of whole blood, 6,000 units of platelets and 6,000 units of plasma are used by patients across the country, and by donating regularly, you can help make sure those donations are available when patients need them. Schedule your donation today and help ensure blood is ready for every patient who needs it. 

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