Blood Drives: What is whole blood and power red?

American Red Cross mobile blood drives are held in West Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek on a regular basis. At these drives both ‘whole blood’ and ‘Power Red’, also known as ‘Double Red’, donations are collected. So, what’s the difference between these two types of donations?

A ‘Whole Blood’ donation can be given by people with any blood type. This type of donation takes a pint of blood directly from the donor into a donation collection bag. The donation is then taken to a Red Cross blood processing unit where it is tested and then either sent out as a unit of ‘whole blood’ or separated into its component parts (red cells, platelets and plasma) for particular patient uses. The process to donate a pint of whole blood typically takes 1 hour from registration to leaving the donation site. Whole blood is most typically used for trauma patients or people undergoing surgery. Whole blood donations can be made every 56 days, up to 6 times per year. Donors must be at least 16 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red cells. This type of donation uses an automated process that separates red blood cells from the other blood components, and then safely and comfortably returns the plasma and platelets to the donor. Power Red donations can only be provided by donors with A-, B- and either O+ or O-. This process takes 1 to 1-1/2 hours from registration to completion. Red cells from a Power Red donation are typically given to trauma patients, newborns and emergency transfusions during birth, people with sickle cell anemia, and anyone suffering blood loss or needing transfusions as part of their care. Power Red donations can be given every 112 days, up to 3 times per year. Male Power Red donors must be at least 17 years old in most states, at least 5'1" tall and weigh at least 130 lbs. Female Power Red donors must be at least 19 years old, at least 5'3" tall and weigh at least 150 lbs.

To donate Whole Blood or Power Red at an upcoming drive go to and enter the ZIP code of where you’d like to donate. Choose the date and location that works best for you. Once you click on “See Times” you will have the option to sign up for either ‘Blood’ or ‘Power Red’. If you don’t know your blood type, no worries. Schedule to donate Blood. After your donation is processed, your blood type will show on your Red Cross donor account. If you have A-, B-, O+ or O-, you can then consider donating Power Red at future drives.

Currently scheduled drives in West Sedona are: Friday, September 1 – Sunset Village; and Wednesday, October 18 – Sedona Public Library. Check online for newly added drives.

Currently scheduled drives in the Village of Oak Creek are: Thursday, August 31 – Village of Oak Creek Church of the Nazarene and Tuesday, Wednesday, October 11 – Sedona Winds Assisted Living; Tuesday, October 17 – Oak Creek Country Club and Wednesday, November 15 – VOC Church of the Nazarene in conjunction with Rotary of Sedona Village. Check online for newly added drives.

For additional information contact the Yavapai County Bio-Med Volunteer Lead, Janet Dubiel, at

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