Whole Blood Donor Information

Whole Blood Donor Information


Welcome to the University of Texas Medical Branch Blood Center located at 5.212 John Sealy Annex, Galveston, Texas 77555-0717. Our hospital based blood bank serves as the only transfusion service located in Galveston County and it supplies UTMB snd Shriners Burns Hospital's patients with much needed blood products. 



Every donor at the UTMB Blood Center is a vital piece of patient care at UTMB. We strive to have each donor know that they are valued, appreciated and that they are welcome to return every 8 weeks. We enjoy having a personal relationship with our donor population and we welcome their feedback at all times.  We strive for excellence!

  • Basic Donor Requirements

    To be a donor at UTMB, you must weigh 110 pounds or more and be at least 17 years old. Blood donors should eat before donating and inform the blood bank staff if they are taking medications.  Still not sure if you can donate? Click here for additional Blood Donation Eligibility Requirements


  • Donation Process

    First you will be greeted by our friendly staff and asked to fill out a donor card. One of our staff members will then evaluate your medical history and check your pulse, blood pressure and temperature. After testing a blood sample to confirm your eligibility, the donation process begins. The actual giving time takes approximately 7 minutes, and the entire donation process takes about 30 to 45 minutes. Only one pint of blood will be taken. After the donation, donors are offered refreshments before they leave.


  • How can I improve my Iron Count?

You can improve your Iron by improving your diet.  This won't however guarantee your eligibility to donate.  Click here for additional Good Dietary Sources of Iron



Types of Donations

    There are three types of donation used at the UTMB Blood Center:

  • General Use Donations. This blood is donated to the blood bank to be used by any person that needs it.
  • Apheresis Donation.  Specific component of blood such as platelets or plasma is donated to the blood bank to be used by any person that need it.
  • Autologous Donations. A patient and doctor decide that storing the patient's blood ahead of time for surgery is the best plan for the patient. A physician's order is required for this type of donation.
  • Designated Donation. Patients may choose to designate specific individuals to donate blood for them. This must be set up at least 3 working days before the expected transfusions by calling 409.772.4861. The directed donor of course, must have blood compatible with the patient and meet all donor requirements. A form signed by the patient, the doctor and the donor is required.

Blood Donations can be used to:

  •         Replace blood that has been used by a patient.

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Blood Bank

    The UTMB Blood Bank supplies blood products to the UTMB Hospitals.  Approximately 1500 donations are needed every month to ensure that blood will be readily available should you or a loved one need the gift of life. The UTMB Blood Bank is a member of the American Association of Blood Banks and the South Central Association of Blood Banks. The blood center is located at 5.212 John Sealy Annex, Galveston, Texas 77555-0717.  The Blood Center's business hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. The telephone number during business hours 409.772.4861; after hours (409)772-1524 or 1-866-437-6423.


Why should I become a regular blood donor?

    There is no substitute for human blood. Blood is something that can only be obtained from generous people like yourself. Regular blood donors make it possible for blood banks to have a steady supply of blood when someone in need requires a blood transfusion. The most important reason to donate blood is a very simple one: Your donation can make the difference someone else.


What type am I?

How do I become a blood donor?

    To become a blood donor, please call the UTMB Blood Center at 409.772.4861. You can make an appointment if you would like however, appointments are not necessary. If you are on any type of medication, please tell this to the staff member answering your call.


Examples of average blood use:

      Automobile Accident - 50 units of red blood cells.

      Burn - 20 units of platelets, 50 units of red cells, 50 units of fresh frozen plasma.

      Bone Marrow Transplant - 20 units of red blood cells &120 units of  platelets.

      Heart Surgery - 6 units of red blood cells, 6 units of platelets.

      Organ Transplant - 40 units of red blood cells, 30 units of platelets, 20 bags of cryoprecipitate & 25 units of fresh frozen plasma.

Blood Facts:

Each pint donated can help save 3 lives!

Every 2 seconds someone needs blood. (Approximately 40,000 units are used each day in the U.S.)

Blood makes up about 8% of a person's body weight.

Approximately 14 million units of blood components are transfused nationwide each year.

You can donate whole blood every 56 days, and platelets every 7 days.

Blood can be split into different components (red cells, plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate) and used to help different types of patients. UTMB Blood Bank currently separates components of red cells, plasma and platelets.

O- donors are called "Universal Donors" because their blood type can be transfused to people of all blood types.

O+ donors are needed more frequently than any other donor. O+ is the most common blood type. (39% of the population)

AB+ blood types are considered to be the "Universal Recipients" because they can be transfused with any type of blood.

AB- is the most rare blood type, only 1/2% of the population is AB-.


Other UTMB Links:

UTMB Department of Pathology Laboratory Survival Guide

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  Please call the UTMB Blood Center for information and to schedule a blood drive at your school, business, or place of worship.
For more information or to set-up a drive, please call Laurie Hartrick, Donor Recruiter, Blood Collections at 409-772-6551 or llhartri@utmb.edu