Call: 1-202-476-5000

Blood Donor Center
Meet Our Team
Resources for Families
Contact Information
Best Children's Hospitals
Ranked in 10 specialties: Neonatology, Cancer, Heart and Heart Surgery, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Respiratory Disorders, Digestive Disorders, Orthopaedics, Urology, and Kidney Disease
Email This Page
Print This Page

Blood Donor Center

Blood Donor Center
Read Parent letters
Request an appointment to give blood
Children’s National Medical Center established the Edward J. Miller, Sr., Blood Donor Center in 1990 to support the growing need for blood and blood products at the hospital. The Blood Donor Center collects thousands of blood donations every year and provides essential services for Children’s patients.

Information for Blood Donors
We are always in need of blood, especially types O and B, and platelet donations as the number of patients at Children’s National continues to increase. Donating is simple and generally requires little time. Read the Donor Eligibility Guidelines.

Schedule an appointment at the Blood Donor Center at Children’s National in Washington, DC, online or by calling 202-476-KIDS (5437). Normal business hours for the center:
  • Monday through Friday  from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Select Saturdays
  • Once per month, the blood donor center will close at 2:30pm on a Wednesday for a staff meeting

If you cannot make a donation at the hospital, the Bloodmobile is available throughout the community both during the week as well as on weekends. Call 202-476-5437 for information and to schedule a blood drive near you.

Directed Donations
Family members and friends can donate blood products for a specific patient at Children’s National through the directed donation program. All directed donors must meet the eligibility requirements. To speak with someone more about this opportunity, please call the blood donor center at 202-476-5437.

The Transfusion Buddy Program

For children who receive frequent blood transfusions, such as sickle cell disease patients, the center’s Transfusion Buddy Program matches up patients with compatible donors who have the same blood type. A compatible donor with a similar blood type means that a patient’s body is more likely to accept a transfusion.

The program currently needs donors, especially African-Americans. To learn about participating in the Transfusion Buddy Program, please call 202-476-5437.

Information for Patients and Families

Download Platelet Donations brochure
Children’s Blood Donor Center team performs therapeutic procedures for a wide variety of conditions:
  • Therapeutic red blood cell exchanges for patients with sickle cell disease, thalassemia and other anemias (when they body does not produce enough red blood cells)
  • Therapeutic plasma exchange procedures to treat neurological disorders, such as myasthenia gravis, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, and organ transplant rejection
  • Therapeutic white blood cell depletion procedures to decrease tumor burden (the number of cancer cells) in patients with leukemia
  • Granulocyte collection and transfusion for patients with low or poor functioning white blood cells that fight infection
  • Peripheral blood stem cell collection for bone marrow transplantation in cancer patients  
To learn more about the Center’s therapeutic services and donor, family, and patient (self) donations for therapeutic procedures, review our patient brochure or contact the Blood Donor Center at 202-476-KIDS (5437).

The Blood Donation Center coordinates care with your child’s doctor and works closely with related division specialists. Part of the comprehensive care at Children’s National, patients receiving blood transfusions for certain conditions and their families have access to support services and resources through the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Patient and Family Support Program. The program provides comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services and resources for all patients, their parents, and siblings.

Research at Children’s National
Children’s specialists are dedicated to finding new and more effective therapies for children with cancer, blood, and bone marrow disorders, and ultimately discover cures. They are involved in cutting-edge research and clinical trials to improve the health and outcomes for patients, including research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Speak to your child’s physician if you wish to learn more about enrolling your child in a current clinical trial.

Back to top

Here are some facts

• Children’s National collects about 2,800 whole blood donations each year
• The blood donations directly to Children’s National covers 60-70% of the blood needed
• Children’s National purchases approximately $2 million in blood each year from local organizations, such as the Red Cross
• 90% of people need a blood donation at some point in their lives. You, or your child, could be one of them.
• Babies undergoing heart surgery need blood that is no more than five days old
• Countless numbers of children involved in accidents need blood transfusions almost immediately
• Some children with certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, need one to 10 units of blood per month
• Depending on the size of the patient, one unit of blood can be used for as many as four of five children.
• Newborns have only one cup of blood in their bodies.
• You can give blood every two months (or eight weeks)
• When you give you give one pint of blood. The average person has 8-12 pints of blood in their body.

Back to top

- Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center