Double your Donation at our Pleasanton Center

November 22, 2011

The American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region will begin using an automated blood collection system – called ALYX – at its Pleasanton Blood Donation Center on December 5, 2011.

The ALYX Component Collection System helps ensure a steady and continuous blood supply for local patients by collecting two units of red blood cells from one donor. With the ALYX system, only red blood cells are collected; and the machine returns the other blood components – such as platelets and plasma – to the donor.

“Red blood cells are the most frequently used blood components,” Northern California Blood Services Region CEO Jeff Meyer said. “ALYX allows people to safely double their red blood cell donations. So with each visit, donors can give more of what patients need the most.”

Red blood cells are needed by almost every type of patient requiring a transfusion – including (but not limited to) accident and trauma victims, and patients with blood disorders and other life-threatening diseases. Also, many patients – such as those suffering with sickle cell disease – require several red blood cell transfusions.

Double red cell donations are not a new concept (the Red Cross has been performing double red cell collection in the Northern California Region since December 2002). But currently the Red Cross has been using ALYX machines in this region only at mobile blood drives and the San Jose Blood Donation Center.

“We are looking to increase red blood cell collection in the Northern California Region,” Meyer said. “And by putting ALYX machines in more of our donor centers, we’re making it as convenient as possible for our donors to give those red blood cells. And that will help to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of patients in the Bay Area.”

In addition to meeting other blood donor qualifications, double red cell donors must also meet the following criteria:

  • Men must be at least 5’1” and weigh at least 150 pounds
  • Women must be at least 5’5” and weigh at least 175 pounds
  • Usually reserved for people with blood types O, A-negative or B-negative

Double red cell collection isn’t the only procedure being added at the Pleasanton donor center. A week later, on December 12, the Red Cross will begin collecting platelets from donors at the center. The Pleasanton site will become the fourth in the region to collect platelets – joining the Oakland, Pleasant Hill and San Jose donor centers. 

The Pleasanton Blood Donation Center is located at 5556-B Springdale Avenue. For more information about double red cell donation or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). For more information about platelet donation, please call 1-888-881-0988.