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Regensburg University Hospital

Donating blood

When you donate blood cells and thrombocytes, you are helping injured and seriously ill people quickly and in the most direct way possible. This is what makes donating blood at Regensburg University Hospital so special.

Please note that we only carry out blood cell donations (aphereses) at Regensburg University Hospital For general whole blood donations, we can refer you to the BRK Bavarian Red Cross in Regensburg.

Thank you for your understanding!

A donation at Regensburg University Hospital differs from donations at other institutions. Certain components of the blood, e.g. blood platelets, white or red blood cells are gently separated from the whole blood whilst the blood is being taken. The rest of the components of the blood are returned to the blood donor straightaway. This so-called apheresis donation allows the donated components of the blood to be extracted in a targeted manner, further processed quickly and used promptly. At Regensburg University Hospital, blood can also be donated for research purposes.

From the registration to the end of the procedure, a blood donation at Regensburg University Hospital can take up to two hours. Please allow plenty of time!

The following types of donation are possible at Regensburg University Hospital:

  • In an apheresis donation, certain components of the blood are separated from the whole blood during the donation. The rest of the components of the blood are returned to the donor. The following components of the blood are extracted:

    Blood platelets (thrombocytes)

    Without thrombocyte donations, the blood clotting mechanism of leukaemia patients would be severely impaired or completely disabled. This can lead to spontaneous internal bleeding in the skin, in severe cases also in the back of the eye or in the brain. Without thrombocyte donations, many treatments, operations and organ transplants in adults and children would be inconceivable. The emergency care of seriously injured patients is also only possible with the help of thrombocytes.

    White blood cells (leukocytes)

    Leukocytes are required for fighting life-threatening infections during chemotherapy and stem cell transplants. The leukocytes include the monocytes, granulocytes and lymphocytes. 

    • Monocytes and lymphocytes: they destroy foreign structures and strengthen the immune system. Monocytes can change into macrophages, which play an important role in the calcification of blood vessels. At our institute, we explore these changes with the help of donations. The donors have to meet certain criteria and are invited directly by us to donate their blood. With your donation of monocytes, you can contribute to the development of new cell therapies. You will be compensated for the effort involved in a monocyte donation.  
    •  Granulocytes: granulocytes are required for the treatment of infections in the course of a bone marrow transplant or of diseases of the haematopoietic system. For the donation, the number of granulocytes in the blood must be increased by drugs. You must take the cortisone preparation dexamethasone the evening before the donation. The growth factor for white blood cells G-CSF will be injected around 12 hours before the donation. In rare cases, side effects may occur as a consequence of this brief cortisone treatment. More information: granulocyte donation.
  • The components of the blood are formed from the blood stem cells in the bone marrow. In healthy people, the blood cells are constantly renewed – quickly making up for slight blood losses.

    In leukaemia and lymphoma patients, the blood stem cells are not renewed after high-dose chemotherapy. Blood cell donations are vital to them. For the donation, a growth factor (G-CSF), which appears in a similar form in the body, is administered to the donor over several days. This factor causes an increased discharge of stem cells into the circulating blood. These stem cells can then be collected from the blood without anaesthetic. Side effects of the drug may include aching limps and cold-like symptoms.

  • In an autologous donation, blood is taken in order to be later transferred back to the donor. An autologous donation is possible four to six weeks before a planned operation.