General Information

United Blood Services offers a comprehensive directed donation program. A directed (or designated) blood donation is one by which a patient selects his/her own blood donor(s) for an anticipated, non-emergency transfusion. The donor is typically a friend or relative to the patient but can be a donor unknown to the patient who has attributes that benefit the patient.

  • Directed and designated donations are tagged specifically for the recipient.
  • Although the data does not support it, the patient may feel that the blood they receive from people they know is safer than the community blood supply. In some cases, it may be less safe because donors known to the patient may be hesitant to reveal information about their personal or medical history.
  • Directed donors are qualified in the same manner as community blood donors. This allows transfusing facilities to release directed blood to other patients if the intended patient does not receive it. Units with abnormal test results will not be distributed for transfusion.
  • Male spouses do not usually make the most appropriate directed donors. Previously pregnant women can become sensitized against red cell antigens from their children’s father(s), causing adverse reactions in the transfusion recipient.
  • Optimal time of 5-7 days should be given from time of donation to time of anticipated need.
  • Units that are ABO/Rh incompatible with the recipient will not be distributed for the intended recipient or charged to the transfusion facility.

How to Schedule a Directed Donation

Advance notice to the blood center is always required prior to making a directed donation. The patient and physician:

  • Identifies candidate for directed donation
  • Requests directed donation and determines number and types of components to be collected
  • Completes applicable section of the Special Collections Form (BS 365)
  • Faxes or mails the Special Collections Form (BS 365) to the blood center.

The donor or patient or physicians office can contact the blood center to schedule the appointment(s).

United Blood Services:

  • Reviews the order for completeness
  • Contacts donor-patient for any additional information
  • Collects, processes, tests and stores the blood
  • Ships units to hospital blood bank before transfusion
  • Notifies hospital of units that will not be shipped due to unexpected test results.


Fees for directed blood donation vary. Due to special handling requirements for directed units, it is typical the special handling fees are usually charged to the donor at the time of donation. Some hospitals require that the patient or donor pay for all donations while other hospitals accept the charges from the blood center. Contact the United Blood Services center in your area to find out how fees will be charged.

To Order

See the Special Collections Contact information for your area. To find the center nearest you click here.