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Blood type needs change daily. If you are not sure of your next eligible donation date, please call the NIH Blood Bank at (301) 496-1048.

Walk-in donors are welcome Monday through Friday from 7:30am - 4:30pm.

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Granulocytes by Apheresis

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center (CC) collects and transfuses about 100 granulocyte products each year to treat patients with life-threatening infections and severely impaired white blood cell function.

What are granulocytes?
Granulocytes are white blood cells that fight infection in the human body, especially those caused by bacteria and fungus.

Who needs granulocytes?
Cancer patients, transplant patients and other Clinical Center patients often can't make enough of their own granulocytes to control infections during treatment. Granulocytes from donors can be critical to control infections after chemotherapy, transplantation and other treatment. Clinical center physicians rely on donated granulocytes to treat patients with life-threatening infections or severely impaired immune systems.

How are granulocytes donated?
Granulocyte donors receive medication the day before donation to increase cell production. The next day, granulocytes are donated using a blood separation process called aspheresis. Much like platelet donation, granulocytes donation takes approximately two to three hours, during which donor blood passes through a sterile kit attached to a cell separator device. This device separates blood cells, keeping the granulocytes and returning the other blood cells to the donor. Learn more about the donation process.

Is Granulocytapheresis Safe?
Yes. The entire process is monitored by trained medical personnel. The pre-donation medication is approved for donor use as part of the Clinical Center granulocytes donor protocol. Please view this description of the granulocyte donor protocol. The donation kits, cell separator device and collection procedure are all approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All collection kits are sterile, opened for each donor and discarded after use.

Who can donate granulocytes?
Anyone eligible to donate blood between the agse of 18 and 75 may donate granulocytes. Granulocyte donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and have previously donated blood products or blood stem cells. Please view a detailed description of donor criteria.

How can I help?
Sign up to be a granulocyte donor! Please contact us today to let us know your interest and schedule a convenient time for your donor registration.

Granulocyte Donor Coordinator
301-451-8610

NIH Donor Center at Fishers Lave
301-496-4321

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This page last updated on 08/29/2018

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