Your blood can help save a life. American University of Health Sciences (AUHS), in collaboration with American Red Cross (ARC), will be holding a blood drive on Monday, February 27, 2017 from 10 am- 4 pm on the AUHS university campus. Donors will also receive a $5 Amazon gift card via email after their donation! Ask an American Red Cross staff member at the event for further instructions.

Here are some things you should know to maximize your blood donation and help more patients. (The following information had been obtained from the American Red Cross medical/health care flyers.)

Power Red Donation

  1. Who should donate?
    1. Donors with blood types O negative, O positive, A negative, and B negative are encouraged to give a Power Red Donation.
    2. Donors who are A or B positive are encouraged to give a whole blood donation, as plasma is needed from these blood types.
  2. What is a Power Red Donation?
    1. During a Power Red donation, you give a concentrated dose of red blood cells, the part of your blood used for those who need blood transfusions.
  3. How does the Power Red donation work?
    1. This type of donation uses an automated process that separates your red blood cells from the rest of your other blood components, then safely and comfortably returns your plasma and platelets to you.
    2. Many blood donors say that the Power Red donation is a more comfortable experience because it requires a smaller needle and fluids are returned to the donor during the donation process.
    3. Power red donors can give every 112 days which is different that a regular blood donation every 56 days.
  4. What are red blood cells?
    1. Red blood cells are the most commonly transfused blood component and the most needed.
    2. Since they carry oxygen throughout the body, they are essential.
  5. Who needs my red blood cells?
    1. These red cells help trauma and surgery patients, those undergoing organ transplants, women experiencing complications from childbirth, and people with anemia.
  6. What are the requirements for a Power Red donation?
    1. In addition to meeting standard blood donor qualifications, the following requirements apply for those interested in Power Red donation:

Power Red Requirements


ALYX Machine Female Male
Minimum height 5’5” 5’1
Minimum weight 175 lbs. 150 lbs.
MCS+ Machine Female Male
Minimum height 5’5” 5’1
Minimum weight 150 lbs. 130 lbs

Hemoglobin and Iron

  1. What is hemoglobin?
    1. Hemoglobin is a protein carried by the red blood cells that contains iron.
    2. A blood donor must have a hemoglobin level of at least 12.5 gm/dl.
    3. If you’re hemoglobin is too low, you may not be able to donate blood that day. This does not necessarily mean you are unhealthy; you just don’t have a high enough hemoglobin level to share your red cells that day.
    4. A low hemoglobin level could be caused by a diet low in iron-rich foods, blood loss, pregnancy or another medical condition.
  1. What is iron?
    1. Iron is necessary in building the proteins of red blood cells and is required for producing energy from food.
    2. Iron is an important factor in every activity your body performs.
    3. Iron in the hemoglobin molecule also helps carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs for removal.
  2. How can I boost my iron level?
    1. You can improve your iron level and your hemoglobin by changing your diet by including more high- iron foods and by avoiding substances that reduce iron absorption.
    2. There are two types of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron.
      1. Heme iron, which is found in meat, fish and poultry, is more easily absorbed than the non-heme iron.
      2. Non-heme iron is found primarily in fruits vegetables, dried beans, nuts and grain products.
      3. When you eat the two together, the non-heme iron is more easily absorbed.
    3. Iron Boosters (high-iron foods)
      1. Ready-to-eat cereals
      2. Beans
      3. Spinach
      4. Beef
      5. Shrimp
      6. Tomatoes
      7. Oysters
      8. Broccoli
      9. Rice
      10. Peas
      11. Potatoes
      12. Watermelon
    4. Iron Busters
      1. Iron Busters are foods that reduce the absorption of iron by your body. Avoiding iron-busters is important in boosting your iron level.
      2. Iron Busters include:
        1. Caffeinated beverages
        2. Chocolate
        3. An excess of high-fiber foods
        4. Some medications like antacids or phosphate salts


  1. The American Red Cross. (2013). “Hemoglobin and Iron.” [Flyer] Pomona, CA: American National Red Cross.
  2. The American Red Cross. (2016). Power Red. [Flyer] Pomona, CA: American National Red Cross.