Most patients who are transfused at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital receive blood units donated by volunteer donors. Some patients or their physicians prefer autologous (self-donated) blood when possible. Occasionally, patients request that they receive blood given by someone they know (directed donors). MedStar Georgetown University Hospital receives its blood supply for transfusions from the American Red Cross community blood center and our other MedStar Hospital Blood Centers.
American Red Cross and our other MedStar Hospital Blood Center donors are volunteers. None are paid for their donations. Donors are carefully screened by a questionnaire approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and each unit of blood is tested for infectious diseases by methods that meet all requirements for the FDA and the American Association of Blood Banks.
Autologous Donation (Self Donated)
Patients who are scheduled for elective surgery have the option of donating their own blood, which is then, if necessary, transfused back to them during or after surgery. Please discuss this option with your physician.
Directed Donations (Family/Friends)
Some patients who are scheduled for surgery or other medical indications for transfusion may want their family member or friends to donate blood for their transfusions. We have no information that blood from family members or friends is safer than blood from our volunteer donors. However, we understand the concerns that some persons have about blood transfusions and will provide this special service for patients who request it. Directed donors must meet strict health requirements. The ideal directed donors are persons who have previously been volunteer blood donors.
For more information about our blood services, autologous or directed donor blood donation, please call our Blood Donor Service, at 202-444-5425.