What happens to donated blood

Watch the journey of blood

Before your life-saving donation reaches people in need, it goes through a complex process to ensure we maintain one of the safest blood supplies in the world. Watch this video for an overview.

Follow your blood on its journey

illustration of a white blood delivery van with a big red blood droplet on the side of it
1) First, it's tested

Your donation is carefully packed and sent from the donor centre to a processing centre — there are four across Australia. In the processing centre, we test your blood so we know it’s safe for a patient.

Learn how blood is tested
illustration of three test tubes containing blood on a rack
2) Then, processed

If tests come back negative, we put it in a centrifuge. This spins the blood really fast until it separates into red blood cells, plasma, and something called a ‘buffy coat’ (white blood cells and platelets).

Making blood components
illustration of two doctors wearing white lab coats with stethoscopes over their shoulders
3) Then, sent to hospitals

Once your donation is separated, it’s put into a press. This squashes the red cells into one new bag and the plasma into another, leaving the buffy coat in the original bag. Your blood components are sent out to where they’re needed most, saving up to three lives.

View patient stories

How your blood makes a difference

After you donate, we’ll send you a text message to let you know which hospital your blood donation goes to. Until then, discover more ways you can change lives by donating your blood.

Know the power of plasma

Curious about how this special part of your blood takes a slightly different journey? Watch this video for an overview, and discover how plasma is a game-changer when it comes to donating blood.

illustration of a woman holding a big red blood droplet with a white question mark on it
Red blood cells can seriously save lives

They can help in emergencies, like complications in childbirth.

Why donate blood
illustration of a person holding a big orange platelets droplet with a white question mark on it
Platelets are small but have huge impact

Cancer patients are the main users of platelets.

Learn about platelets
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Plasma can help with burns and immune deficiencies

Find out the many ways your plasma can change lives.

Learn about plasma

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