Donate Blood

What Happens to Blood After Donation


Step One

After your unit of blood is collected - along with several small vials used for testing - your blood donation is labeled and transported to our component laboratory.


Step Two

Whole blood donations are separated into two essential components, red cells and plasma.


Step Three

Your blood is typed, which includes identifying the ABO type and a positive or negative Rh factor.

A combination of pre-donation screening and rigorous testing ensures the safety of blood supplied by Community Blood Center. Each vial of blood is tested for: 

  • HBV (Hepatitis B Virus)
  • HCV (Hepatitis C Virus)
  • HIV-1, HIV-2  (the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS)
  • HTLV (Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus)
  • Syphilis
  • Unexpected red cell antibodies that the donor may have formed in response to an earlier exposure to blood, through either transfusion or pregnancy
  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Sickle cell trait (performed on donors enrolling in the sickle
    cell program)
  • Chagas Disease
  • ZIKA Virus

No blood is released for transfusion without passing the required tests. Although it is rare to find donated blood that may transmit infection, those units of blood that are reactive for viral markers are not released for transfusion and the person who made the donation is notified.


Step Four

After your blood has been divided, passed all tests, and been properly typed and labeled, it is stored in large refrigerators and freezers at CBC. It is now ready for distribution to hospitals.

The blood components are carefully packed in special temperature-controlled containers and then transported by contract and volunteer couriers to our partner hospitals.


Step Five

The final step in your donated blood's journey is when the right type of donation you have made reaches the right patient-typically within 10 days.

Community Blood Center is the primary provider of life-saving blood and blood components to our 25 hospital partners in Ohio and Indiana. CBC also provides additional units of blood to hospitals across the country facing an urgent need. CBC responds to calls for blood from U.S. military or government agencies coordinating relief efforts around the world.