New Way to Give Blood - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Way to Give Blood

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- A new blood donation machine is allowing people to donate less often while still saving lives.

With the new Haemonetics machine, you only donate red blood cells and only have to donate every sixteen weeks, or, about half as much as you would with normal blood.

The machine separates red blood cells from the rest of your blood. It then filters the rest of the blood back into the donor. It also puts saline back in the donor to keep them hydrated. People give two units of red blood cells in one donation. Red Cross Officials say the donors using the new system have experienced less discomfort after giving blood. They say the red blood cells are used specifically for trauma victims.

The Richland and Yakima Blood Bank will be the two blood centers offering the double red cell machine.