The cost issue

Blood obtained through designated donation is more expensive than voluntary blood. There is no charge for the blood itself, but donors are charged for the donation procedure, testing, cross-matching and delivery.

You might also be charged extra if we have to obtain and transport blood from relatives outside of the Western Cape. And lastly, all charges are billed – whether the transfusion takes place or not.

When it’s a no-go

If you’re a woman of childbearing age, designated donation from your husband and his relatives is not advised. There’s a lot of science involved, but in short it boils down to the fact that it could affect the safety of future pregnancies.

A friend or family member may also not donate if they have:

Weighing up the pros and cons


  • Recipients can choose which donor's blood they receive.
  • Designated donation gives the recipient peace of mind when facing stressful medical conditions.
  • Donors have the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped a friend or family member.


How to go about it

Designated donation requires quite a bit of planning. Before the transfusion takes place, we’ll first need to obtain, test and process the required number of units. If you’re a willing donor, then you'll also need to fulfil the full health criteria expected from regular donors.

When it’s okay

Like autologous donation, designated donation can be used as an alternative to volunteer donor blood, but is only permitted for elective procedures. It can also be used on its own or in combination with your own blood.

Other important points

  • Autologous donation is more expensive than receiving regular transfusions. Although there is no charge for the blood itself, donors are charged for the procedure, testing, cross-matching and delivery.
  • Unused autologous donations are not automatically absorbed into the general reserve. That is, unless the donor is a regular donor, has donated up to 12 months before, and fulfils our donation criteria.
  • Even if a doctor’s recommendation is obtained, we still reserve the right to not accept donors who we believe are unfit for donation.

Weighing up the pros and cons

The biggest benefit of autologous donation is that you’ll receive your own blood, and that it will be available if needed. There is also no risk of adverse reaction as a result of incompatibility or picking up possible donor infections.

Who won’t make the grade?

You won't be able to become an autologous donor in the case of:

Who qualifies?

Going under the knife? If your doctor or surgeon foresees the need for donor blood, you could consider autologous donation. Pregnant women may also donate autologously provided there are no complications during the pregnancy.

You can become an autologous donor if: