Requirements for directed donations

A directed donation is a blood donation collected from a specific donor who is known to the intended transfusion recipient.

Lifeblood will only undertake directed donations when it is the only practical way to provide suitable allogeneic red cell or platelet components for transfusion for a particular medical indication, such as for patients with rare blood types where compatible donors are not available.

Directed donation will not be performed when suitable blood components can be provided from other Lifeblood donors.

Directed donation will not be performed for the purpose of avoiding blood components from donors vaccinated against COVID-19.

There is no evidence that blood from directed donors is safer than blood from anonymous volunteer donors. In fact, it may be less safe. Pre-selection of a blood donor known to the patient could compromise Lifeblood’s usual strict donor selection and screening procedures as potentially the donor may feel uncomfortable disclosing risk factors which may exclude them from being eligible to donate blood.

Directed donors must meet Lifeblood’s donor selection criteria for allogeneic use.

All directed donations collected from donors who are blood relatives of the particular patient must be irradiated prior to transfusion.

Requests for directed donation must be made by a treating doctor who is responsible for:

  • Completion of the Lifeblood Directed Donation Request Form.
  • For assistance with appropriate documentation, please contact the Medical Services team in your state.
  • Providing information and gaining consent of the patient and donor for the directed donation.

To protect the safety of the allogeneic system, there is no crossover of components collected as directed donations into the general blood inventory. If the donation is not required for the intended recipient, it will be discarded.

Lifeblood believes that directed donation is only rarely the best way to meet the transfusion needs of an individual. As a result, directed donation is usually discouraged except in the defined circumstances outlined above.