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Blood Donations and Transfusions

Children’s National offers a Directed Donor Program, which allows family members or friends to donate blood to be used during the patient’s hospital stay and/or for procedures. There is no evidence that blood from directed donors is safer than from regular volunteer donors, but this service is frequently requested by parents. 

Children's National Blood Donor Center hours:

  • Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Call 202-476-KIDS to schedule an appointment.

Some patients may donate blood for themselves for elective surgeries through the Autologous Donation Program. Donation must be done at least one week before surgery. The child must be healthy, cooperative, not be anemic and at least 10 years old. Small children can’t be their own donors. 

For more information about both kinds of blood donation, ask your physician and/or visit

Religious Considerations

Some families hold religious beliefs that prevent their acceptance of whole blood and, sometimes, other blood products. Children’s National is committed to the care of all its patients, regardless of their religious beliefs. If you have a religious objection to the use of blood transfusions for your child, please discuss this with your surgeon well in advance of surgery.