Blood donors are the most selfless human resources a country could ever have. We are grateful that we still have living heroes who take their time to donate blood and save lives. Though whole blood donation is what blood banks and hospitals need, there is also a type of blood donation that is convenient for both the blood bank and the donor- the Alyx Blood Donation.
What is an Alyx Donation
Our blood has 3 components: red blood cells, plasma and platelets. But of all these components, red blood cells are highly in demand. Instead of drawing out the whole blood (red blood cells, platelets and plasma), centers only collect the red blood cells.
Alyx donation uses a type of medical technology called apheresis, where the donor’s blood passes through a filter that splits blood components and returns the plasma and platelets to the donor’s body.
Is Giving an Alyx Donation safe?
The Alyx Donation, is 100% safe always. Donor safety is ensured not only with the use of sterile equipment but also by the added height and weight requirements that qualify a donor.
Alyx is a closed, sterile system that uses single-use disposable needles and plastic tubing. The apheresis technology has been used to provide millions of patients the blood components they need for over 20 years already. A lot of people safely donated on Alyx and there are no reports of injuries on the part of the donor while strapped to the machine.
Though Alyx donation sounds a tempting type of donation to do, not everyone can give this kind of donation. Each person and blood type has their differences in blood volumes, so there’s a different criteria for men and women to do double red cell donation as well.
For men, you have to be at least 5’1” and 130 pounds; for women, you have to be 5’5” and 150 pounds. The typical standard for hemoglobin in whole blood donation is 12.5 g/Dl but in Alyx donation, hemoglobin should be 13.3 g/Dl.
This type of donation takes 25 minutes; which make it 5 minutes longer than a normal blood donation. Donors can give this type of donation every 112 days or 16 weeks. A donor is twice the hero with each donation session since the donor gives 2 units of red cells.
The blood types that are needed the most are O (+/-) and B (+/-), so if you are one of these types, please step up and join the pool of Alyx donors.
Steps for donating
Just because you’re going to donate double red blood cells doesn’t mean the steps became more complicated. It’s just similar to whole blood donation.
1. A donor tech administers a private screening interview.
2. Have a mini-physical to check your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and hemoglobin.
3. Go to the Alyx machine and make your double red cell donation. It usually takes 25 minutes.
4. After the blood is taken, you can have refreshments in the canteen area and feel good that you’ve helped save lives.
Reminder: Eat a balanced meal before donating blood. Make sure you eat food that are high in iron such as spinach, peas, eggs, whole grains and liver. Avoid eating fatty foods and dairy products 2 days before donating.
Perks of Alyx Donors
- Since you can only donate every 16 weeks, reminders about your regular donation will be less frequent.
- You help the nation keep a stable supply or red blood cells – since these are the most critically needed donation required for patients.
- This type of donation uses a smaller needle. Also, double red blood cell donation enables other components of your blood to return to your body so there’s less chance of you to feel dizzy or tired after donating.
- Alyx donation makes you hit two birds with one stone. You give more red blood cells in one donation, enabling you to save more lives in one sitting
Why donate through Alyx?
Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues and are the most common type of blood cell. These can be stored for only up to 42 days. If you can’t find enough reasons to donate red blood cells, check these facts below and maybe you will change your mind.
You may know a close friend or loved-one who has been a recipient or is constantly in need of red blood cell transfusion for survival. Someone you sat across from in the subway or a stranger in the bus may be depending on donated red blood cells to stay alive. Whoever it is, whatever reason it may be, we will never run out motivations to donate a part of ourselves to others. We encourage you to donate blood, Alyx or whole blood donation, whenever you can. You don’t only do yourself a favor, you are also saving lives of people you may or may not even know.
Do Alyx Donation. Donate twice Red Blood cells and Save more lives!