Giving the gift of life through a blood donation is sweet, just like your favorite Halloween candy. Now, with this just-for-fun Halloween candy guide to blood donations, you can satisfy both your indulgent and altruistic sides. Pick your favorite candy below to get started—you never know what tasty tidbit you’ll glean about the many ways to save lives in our community.
Like M&Ms, platelets are better in groups. Scrape a knee at the local haunted house? Your broken blood vessels send a distress call and, like a rush of candy-coated chocolates, platelets come to the rescue. Together, the tiny blood cells form a plug (also known as a clot) at the injury site to get the healing process started. Because of their restorative power, platelets are especially important for cancer patients and victims of traumatic injury.
You can donate platelets through a process called apheresis. Through apheresis, we spin your blood in a centrifuge to separate its components, then extract the platelets and return the rest of the good stuff back to you. Donating platelets takes about two hours, during which you can cozy up in one of our comfy recliner chairs and catch up on your favorite show or book.
Plasma is the clear, yellow-colored fluid part of your blood—think of it as the lemon gummy bear of your Halloween candy haul. Like a grab-and-go bag of gummies, plasma acts as a river, transporting red blood cells, white cells and platelets throughout the body to nourish essential tissues and organs. As a result, it’s frequently needed by trauma patients, burn victims and other people fighting serious illness and injury.
Fun fact: AB plasma is the universal plasma type, so if you have type AB blood, anyone can receive your plasma—kind of like if you wanted to give away your favorite chewy candy. We separate and collect your plasma through apheresis and return the rest of your blood safely back to you. All in all, it takes 90 minutes or less.
Two is better than one when it comes to Twix Bars and double red cell donations. Like two Twix Bars in a single package, you can provide enough red cells for two lifesaving patient treatments in a single blood donation. In a double red donation, once again, your red cells will be separated through apheresis. Because they deliver oxygen, red cells are especially important for people suffering from severe blood loss or sickle cell anemia.
Ready to double down? To most effectively fill the local demand, red cell donors must be blood type O, A negative or B negative.
A little bit of everything. That’s what you get when you bite into a Snickers bar—and what you give when you choose to donate whole blood. True to its name, whole blood contains all of your blood components including platelets, plasma, red cells and more. It serves a wide range of patients and is critical for hospitals and first responders to have well-stocked at all times.
Like a quick Snickers snack, whole blood is efficient donation option if you’re short on time. Our donors report being in and out in less than an hour. For our universal donors with type O negative blood, whole blood is especially impactful because it can be received by anyone in need.