One 2 One - Rare Donor Program
Welcome to One2One!
One2One is a program at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center that identifies rare blood donors and asks them to Commit for Life by donating at least once a quarter. The program is called One2One because the patients who are helped by rare blood donors often can’t receive blood from the general population. They often must receive blood that has been specifically matched to them. When you give blood as rare donor, your blood is not added to the general community blood supply – it is set aside specifically to help a patient whose blood matches yours, one to one.
What does it mean to be a rare donor?
You probably know that your “blood type” is described as something like, “A positive” or “O negative.” What you may not know is that your blood has many different traits – more than 600 in fact – and your blood type only accounts for two of those traits. Having blood traits that the general population lacks (or, more frequently, lacking blood traits that the general population has) is what makes you a rare donor. For example, the blood traits often found in those with Sickle Cell Anemia are more common among individuals of African descent.
Why is this important?
Most patients can receive blood from a volunteer blood donor with the same blood type. However, if a patient with rare blood needs a transfusion, he or she often must receive it from a volunteer blood donor who also has the same rare blood traits. Otherwise, their immune system may reject the donor blood, causing a medical reaction that could range from a mild fever to serious complications, including death.
Now that you have been identified as a rare blood donor, it is very important that you Commit for Life by donating on an ongoing basis. When patients with rare blood need a transfusion, there is no time to test thousands of blood donors to find one who is compatible. When rare donors like you give blood, we often freeze the unit so that it can be stored for a longer period of time, and therefore available for patient use when needed.
When you donate, show your One2One Donor ID Card to our staff and ask the staff what type of donation you should give as a rare donor. The type of donation we ask you to give will be dictated by current patient needs.