Autologous and Directed Donations

Autologous Donations

Autologous donations are donations that individuals give for their own use – for example, before a surgery.

Requirements for an Autologous Donation
  • Autologous donations require a doctor’s prescription.
  • You must call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment in advance and request an Autologous Donation form to be signed by your physician.
  • You must be in reasonably good health. You will not be allowed to self-donate if you have an active infection and you may not be allowed if you have a heart condition.
  • There is no age limitation for autologous donation.
  • Unless otherwise directed by a physician, you may safely donate blood every four to seven days and up to three business days before your surgery as long as you meet the donation guidelines.
  • You cannot donate within 72 hours of your surgery.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin and alcohol should be avoided for 48 hours before your donation.
  • Your hemoglobin/hematocrit will be checked and must be at a satisfactory level before donating. A physician may prescribe iron supplements to prevent deferral at the donation site, especially if you have been anemic or are making more than one donation.
  • If blood loss during your surgery is less than anticipated, transfusing the autologous blood may not be medically necessary. If the donated blood is not used during surgery, it is discarded since current safety standards do not allow its transfusion to other patients.

Real Donor - Dyess



Dyess - Blood Donor


Directed Donations

A directed donation occurs when a patient's family and friends donate blood for his or her upcoming procedure. A patient must give consent and have his/her physician submit a written request for the Red Cross to collect blood from the selected donors.

Carefully consider the following:

  • There is no evidence that patients can select safer donors than the volunteer blood system provides.
  • All donated blood products are tested with the same tests for HIV and other infectious diseases, which further enhances the safety of the blood supply.
  • Social pressure associated with directed donations may compromise the reliability of the donor’s answers to health-history questions

The Red Cross accepts both directed and regular donations and encourages eligible donors to give blood for patients in need.

Special Collections Form

Download the download pdfSpecial Collections Order Form for your Autologous and Directed donations.