NIH Blood Bank

Save a Life.... Become a Blood Donor Today!

2 nurses and a child patient The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Blood Bank depends on people like you to donate blood for patients in the Clinical Center. We are conveniently located on the first floor of Building 10, with reserved parking available while you donate. To schedule a donation, please call (301) 496-1048 or e-mail to request that a recruiter contact you. Additional information is available.

What Happens to the Blood You Donate?

The blood you donate at the NIH Blood Bank is used to support the many patients who come from all over the world to receive treatment. The whole-blood and component requirements of the Clinical Center vary according to the needs of the current patient population. Typically, the following blood products are needed each month:

  • 600 units of red blood cells to treat patients with chronic anemias associated with sickle cell disease, thalassemia, aplastic anemia, leukemia, or cancer
  • 275 units of platelets to control bleeding in patients with leukemia, cancer, or who have had surgery
  • 100 units of plasma for surgical patients, patients with cancer, and patients with immunologic deficiencies
  • 20 units of cryoprecipitate for patients with a variety of bleeding disorders
  • 10 units of granulocytes (white blood cells) for patients with serious infections associated with hereditary or acquired abnormalities of white blood cells.

The blood you give is never wasted. It is used every day of the year to treat Clinical Center patients who are participating in the medical treatment and research programs of the NIH. If your blood is not required for immediate use, it may be frozen and stored. Fractions of blood unsuitable for transfusion are used for research. Occasionally, the blood you give may not be required for a patient here, but it may be sent elsewhere in the community or the nation where it can be used to help save a life.

Please remember, there is no substitute for human blood. Human blood cannot be manufactured. People are the only source of blood. Much of the medical care of an NIH patient depends on the steady supply of blood from healthy, caring individuals like yourself. No miracle of modern medicine can help our patients who need blood if blood is not available.

To learn more about the Platelet Apheresis Donor Program or to make an appointment to enroll, call the Platelet Apheresis Donor Program Coordinator at (301) 496-4321.

To learn more about the Hemochromatosis Donor Program or to make an appointment to enroll, call the Hemochromatosis Program Coordinator at (301) 435-3049.

To learn more about the Research Donor Program or to make an appointment to enroll, call the Research Donor Program Coordinator at (301) 496-0092.

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This page last updated on 05/24/2024

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