Our Services

Saving Lives Through Blood Donation and Transfusion Services

The blood and blood products used in Wheeling Hospital's transfusion service are collected and processed by Central Blood Bank. Although there is no charge for the blood used in a transfusion, many tests are performed on the blood by Central Blood Bank to verify its safety and these processing charges are passed on to the patient who received the blood. There are additional charges for the administration of the transfusion and for the verification that the donor blood is compatible with the patient's blood. Since there is no charge for the blood itself, a replacement credit is not available.

Whole Blood

This is the most common type of blood donation. You can donate whole blood at any Central Blood Bank Mobile Blood Drive or Community Donor Center. A phlebotomist will prepare the area of your arm from which the blood will be drawn. The actual donation takes about 10 minutes and approximately one pint of blood is collected. All materials used during your donation are pre-packaged, sterile and disposable. They are used only once and then discarded. Each unit of whole blood is separated into three main components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Therefore, with each whole blood donation, up to three lives can be saved.


This is a special kind of blood donation that allows a donor to give specific single blood components, like platelets, plasma, or red blood cells.

Platelets - One or two arms are used during a platelet donation. Blood is drawn from the arm and channeled through a sterile, disposable kit housed in a special cell-separating machine. The machine spins the blood to separate the platelets, and then returns the red blood cells and plasma to the donor in the same arm. The body replaces the amount of platelets donated in about 48 hours.

Plasma - During a plasma donation, whole blood is drawn from one arm just like a regular blood donation. The difference is that the blood flows into a sterile collection kit inside a cell-separating machine. The machine spins the blood so that only plasma is removed and saved. The other blood components are returned to the body through the same line.

Red Blood Cells - A double red blood cell (2RBC) donation allows one blood donor to give two units of red blood cells. The red cells and plasma are selectively separated as the blood is collected, and the rest is immediately returned to the donor, along with 500mL saline solution to replace the volume lost.

Autologous Donations

This donation is one that you do for your own use. If you have elective surgery scheduled and are medically eligible, you may be able to give your own blood for later use. This type of donation is prescribed by your doctor.

Directed Donations

This is a donation given for a particular person. If you are the one in need of blood or blood products, a directed donation allows you to receive blood from your family members and friends, if they have a blood type compatible with yours. While there is no medical evidence that shows directed blood donations are safer than donations from the community blood supply, you may feel more comfortable selecting your own donors. Directed donations may not be appropriate for emergency procedures since it take time to fully test and process each unit of blood.

Donate Blood. Save Lives.

Central Blood Bank, a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1951 by the Pittsburgh Jaycees and four area physicians to serve the transfusion needs of Pittsburgh hospitals. Beginning as a 14-staff operation collecting 5,000 units of blood and servicing seven hospitals, Central Blood Bank laid the foundation for a center of excellence in transfusion medicine and became an integral partner in the delivery of health care in our region. Currently, Central Blood Bank employs more than 330 dedicated employees and collects, tests and distributes fewer than 150,000 units of whole blood annually to approximately 40 hospitals and healthcare facilities in the tri-state area. Our mission is to engage our blood donor community, advance transfusion science, and touch more patients with our clinical expertise.

Central Blood Bank provides blood products and transfusion-related services to approximately 40 hospitals in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Crawford, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Washington counties in Pennsylvania, as well as select communities in northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Central Blood Bank has more than 20 conveniently located community donor centers and various daily mobile blood drives throughout western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. A full list of our community donor centers, and information on mobile blood drives, can be found on at www.centralbloodbank.org or calling 1-866-DONORS1 (1-866-366-6771).

Central Blood Bank has a fixed mobile donation location in Wheeling on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at the Howard Long Wellness Center. The Wheeling location collects whole blood and double red blood cells, and as always, will ensure that donors have the most pleasant, comfortable donation experience possible.


In the Wheeling Hospital Laboratory, routine and esoteric procedures are performed daily to provide physicians with diagnostic information as rapidly as possible. State-of-the-art automation and computerization, combined with a highly skilled technical and support staff, provide better patient care.