FAQs

What are the most common blood types?
O-positive is the most common blood type, and AB-negative is the least common type. Individuals with O-negative blood are called universal donors because they can safely donate for any other person, and individuals with AB-positive blood are called universal recipients because they can safely receive blood from any other person. The chart below provides general information about the percentages of blood types and how different blood types are compatible.

Blood Type Percent of Population Who Can Receive this Type
O+ 37.4% O+, A+, B+, AB+
O- 6.6% All Blood Types
A+ 35.8% A+, AB+
A- 6.3% A+, A-, AB+, AB-
B+ 8.5% B+, AB+
B- 1.5% B+, B-, AB+, AB-
AB+ 3.4% AB+
AB- 0.6% AB+, AB-

What is Marsh Regional Blood Center?
Marsh Regional Blood Center is a non profit, full-service regional blood center, serving 16 health care facilities and 4 cancer centers throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Since 1947, Marsh Regional has served the region with a mission to collect and maintain blood supplies to meet local needs. The blood donated at Marsh Regional is used here for those who need it in our region.

Who can give blood?
Volunteer donors provide virtually all of the country’s supply of blood for transfusions. It is important for every healthy and eligible individual to donate blood. This will help ensure blood supplies are available when patients need them.

What are the requirements for donating blood?
To give blood, you must be at least 17 years of age, in good general health and meet a few basic requirements. All blood donors must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.

How often can I donate blood?
Most people can safely give blood every eight weeks – or every 56 days – as many as five or six times per year. Donors who give blood at least four times annually are eligible to participate in Marsh Regional’s Donors4Life program.

Can I contract any disease from giving or receiving blood?
No. Only sterile, disposable, single-use needles and supplies are used. Additionally, every pint is tested thoroughly before it is given to a patient.

How long does it take to give blood at Marsh Regional?
The entire process of donating blood, from the health questionnaire and physical to the actual donation and refreshments, typically takes less than an hour at Marsh Regional. The needle stick itself only lasts a second, and obtaining your blood only takes an average of eight to ten minutes.

Where and when can I give blood?
Marsh Regional offers two collection centers.  Our main center is at 111 West Stone Drive, Suite 300 in Kingsport, TN.   Marsh is also proud to be located at 1996 West State Street in Bristol, TN.

Hours of operation are as follows:

KINGSPORT:

Mon:   10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Tue-Wed:   8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Thu:   10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Fri:   8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sat:  7:30 am – 12:30 pm (Whole Blood Donations 1st Saturday of month starting at 8:00 am)

BRISTOL:

Mon:   10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Tue-Wed:   8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Thu:   10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Fri:   8:30 am – 4:00 pm

JOHNSON CITY:

Mon:  10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Tue:  8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Wed:  8:30 am -4:00 pm

Thu:  10:30 am – 6:00 pm

Fri:  8:30 am -4:00 pm

In addition to collecting blood at our physical locations, Marsh hosts daily mobile blood drives throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, making it convenient for you to give blood.

Do I need an appointment?
No. Marsh Regional welcomes walk-in donors during normal operating hours. However, it might be helpful if you do make an appointment ahead of time. Let us know when you plan to visit by calling any Marsh Regional collection center.

Can my business, school or church host a blood drive?
Yes, your group can have a dramatic impact on saving lives. Marsh Regional has three four-bed bloodmobiles and a two-bed bloodmobile available to conduct on-site blood drives. We also offer the option of setting up a breakdown blood drive, working with you to identify a convenient location inside your facility with sufficient space and resources to set up our mobile equipment. During a breakdown drive, donors are never required to leave the comfort and convenience of your facility. Please contact a mobile blood drive recruiter at (423) 408-7500, or visit the Hosting a Mobile Blood Drive section of this site to learn how your organization can help.

Can I donate blood for myself?
The process of donating blood for yourself is called an autologous blood donation. During this procedure, you will provide your own blood for an upcoming occasion where you may need a blood transfusion, such as surgery. Your blood may be collected during the days and weeks prior to surgery, stored and returned to you during or following surgery to replace the blood you have lost. Your physician will make the necessary arrangements after which you should make an appointment with Marsh Regional.

What is apheresis?
Apheresis is a type of donation in which the donor only gives a certain blood component, such as platelets. Platelets prevent bleeding and cause blood to clot. They are needed by patients who experience trauma, bleeding during surgery and receive treatment for cancer. It takes up to 10 normal blood donations to equal one apheresis donation. Therefore, these donors are special. Find out more how you can donate platelets by visiting the Giving Platelets section of this site.

What is the National Marrow Donor Program?

Marsh Regional Blood Center’s Kingsport collection center serves as a registration site for the National Marrow Donor Program in cooperation with Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP).

For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 25 years Be The Match® has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. We work every day to save lives through transplant.

Entry into the national bone marrow registry is a simple process, involving the completion of brief documentation and a buccal – or mouth – swab. Potential donors may then need to be evaluated to determine whether they match a patient closely enough to donate marrow or cord blood.

Bone marrow and cord blood transplants are used every day to treat patients who have leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases. For many of these patients, a transplant may be the best and only hope of a cure.

For more information about entering the National Marrow Donor Program®, please contact Marsh Regional at (423) 408-7500.

Can individuals who are 16 years of age donate blood?
Marsh Regional’s procedures currently only allow individuals who are at least 17 years of age to donate blood. We want them to be more physiologically mature to have a positive donation experience.

Why should I give blood?
Though many medical advances occur every day, there is still no substitute for one of the most important substances in the human body – blood. Blood components are used every day to save people of every age, including premature babies, oncology patients, trauma victims, surgery patients and others in critical need.

How much blood will I give during a donation?
When you donate whole blood, you give roughly one pint – or 500 mL – of blood. This donation can save up to three lives and takes less than one hour.

What should I do after I donate blood?
After you donate blood, you should stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. It typically takes approximately two days for the body to replace the lost plasma – or liquid part of your blood – and 56 days to replace the red blood cells, after which you will be eligible to donate blood again.