When people think of giving blood, it usually means whole blood. But you can also donate specific blood components. This is done with machines that separate your blood and return the unneeded substances back to your body. Specialty donations include:
Platelets. They make your blood clot and help your immune system. They’re often given to people who have cancer or were injured.
Plasma. This carries nutrients and other essential substances. It’s needed to treat people after accidents, burns, and surgeries.
Red blood cells. These transport oxygen to your organs and tissues to keep them alive. Donors must be taller and heavier than those who give whole blood.