• With the increasing need for blood transfusions, it is essential to understand the crucial role that blood donation plays in saving the lives of people. Blood cannot be manufactured and, to date, no artificial substitute has been created to replace it.
  • The steady demand for blood and the blood supply challenge worldwide requires that everyone engages in saving the lives of those involved in accidents, war injuries, surgeries, procedures, treatment and others.

Every 4 minutes someone in Lebanon is in need of blood

  • Blood donation may save the lives of an infant or an adult patient battling cancer. It might save your life or that of your beloved.
  • Blood donation is considered one of the most important contributions a person can make towards humanity and society. It poses no threat to the person donating provided the donor is healthy and fits donation criteria. A donor’s body can regenerate the donated blood making blood donation safe.
  • Blood inventories need to be replenished constantly because of the constant consumption.

A cancer patient might need to receive blood or blood components to replace low blood levels. A patient might be administered a transfusion of red blood cells, platelets, or plasma depending on his/her medical condition and lab results.


Blood donation helps ensure blood availability at the AUBMC Blood Bank for the transfusion needs of cancer patients.


Help Save cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant, and be part of their recovery!


Why do cancer patients need blood transfusions?


Cancer patients might be in need of blood transfusion because of the disease itself or for various consequences of treatment.


  • Cancer patients may need a transfusion because of blood loss during surgery.


  • Cancer patients need blood to compensate for one of the side effects of the chemotherapy drugs they receive. Chemotherapy drugs affect fast-dividing normal cells as well as cancerous cells. The medications do not differentiate between the good and the bad cells. The bone marrow, which is like a factory for blood cell production, is also affected by chemotherapy due to its fast dividing cells. As a consequence, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment have decreased ability to produce new blood cells and are not able to replace blood cells that have been destroyed.


  • This leads to a drop in the patient’s blood cell count and transfusion of red cells and or platelets may be needed.


  • Blood transfusions help manage the symptoms that patients experience due to low blood cell counts and enable them to continue their cancer treatments.


  • When radiation is used to treat a large area of the bones, it can affect the bone marrow and lead to low blood cell counts.


  • Bone marrow transplant (BMT) or peripheral blood stem cell transplant (PBSCT) patients get large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. This destroys the blood-making cells in the bone marrow. These patients often have very low blood cell counts after the procedure and need transfusions.


And also:

  • Some cancers (especially digestive system cancers) cause internal bleeding, which can lead to anemia from too few red blood cells; see “Red blood cell transfusions” in the next section.


  • Blood cells are made in the bone marrow, the spongy center of certain bones. Cancers that start in the bone marrow (like leukemia) or cancers that spread there from other places may crowd out normal blood-making cells, leading to low blood counts.


  • People who have had cancer for some time may develop something called anemia of chronic disease. This anemia is caused by certain long-term medical conditions that affect the production and lifespan of red blood cells.


  • Cancer can also lower blood counts by affecting organs such as the kidneys and spleen, which help keep enough cells in the blood.


What about patients with blood cancers?


Patients being treated for blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma are significantly affected, as their own blood cells are not functioning properly and treatment affects their ability to produce sufficient healthy blood cells. Their blood counts can get very low, making them prone to life threatening infections and bleeding. Without blood transfusions, many of these patients cannot receive the required treatment.


The Blood Bank at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) is committed to quality care services to the patients twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week all year round including official holidays.

  • Being the only Blood Bank in Lebanon accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the AUBMC Blood Bank ensures compliance through the guidance of the most comprehensive and scientifically endorsed laboratory standards.
  • The Blood Bank provides all patients with quality blood products (RBCs, WBCs, FFPs and platelets), prepared and released following the highest international standards.
  • The Blood Bank supplies blood units that are handled under sterile conditions and have been tested for infectious diseases and undergone full compatibility testing for the intended recipient.
  • Accreditation: The Blood Bank is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Stem Cell Processing Lab is accredited by the Joint Accreditation Committee-ISCT & EBMT (JACIE). ​

In case you want to donate please contact the AUBMC Blood Bank on this direct line  number: 01374444 extension: 5228 or 5229

  • As World Blood Donor Day is a global observance, the Blood Bank at AUBMC runs regular blood drives to stress on the importance of blood transfusion which saves hundreds of thousands of lives in Lebanon each year.
  • By organizing blood drives, the inventory of the blood bank is replenished and increased. Prior to blood donation and to ensure the safety of the donor and the patient the blood bank performs certain tests including taking the donor’s temperature, and hemoglobin level.  In addition, donors are required to answer a few questions.
  • The phlebotomists at the blood drives are highly trained and ensure smooth and safe blood donations.
  • At the blood drives, at the AUBMC blood bank and on the World Blood Donor Day always remember that when you donate blood you are saving lives. Blood donation takes 20 minutes of your time; it is safe and it is the best gift you can give.

Who can donate?

The safety of the donor and the recipient is vital. You can donate if:

  • You are between 18 and 65 years of age
  • You are eligible to donation by the Blood Bank‘s international standards
  • Your hemoglobin level is satisfactory

For all your blood donations do not forget your ID.

Remember to drink water and eat something light prior to donating.

Donating blood might be delayed in certain medical situations and the professional Blood Bank team will inform you of them; do not self-defer yourself.

What happens during blood donation?

Before donation:

  • Your medical and travel history will be recorded
  • Your pulse, temperature and blood pressure are measured
  • Your hemoglobin level is checked

During donation:

  • Just relax on the donor couch

After donation:

  • Refreshments

Some facts about blood donation: 

  • One blood unit (450ml) takes about 20 minutes, the total time donating time with registration, screening and refreshments takes around 45 minutes.
  • You can go return to normal activities except the strenuous ones.
  • The amount of blood collected is small compared to the total blood volume of an average-sized person. The body can amazingly regenerate blood within a few days which makes blood donation safe. You can donate whole blood after 56 days.

If you would like to  donate please contact the BLOOD BANK at AUBMC on this hotline number: 01374444 extension: 5228 or 5229.


Why would I need a blood transfusion?

You might need to receive blood or blood components to replace low blood levels. You might receive a transfusion of red blood cells, platelets, or plasma depending on your medical condition and lab results.

How is blood prepared?

Before donating blood, donors must be cleared as healthy. The donors are asked questions about their medical history at the Blood Bank. Accordingly, a blood sample is taken from the donor to check its safety through extensive testing and screening. These tests check for infections such as hepatitis and HIV. The donated blood is then prepared at the Blood Bank for transfusion.

How is blood transfused?

Blood is administered through an intravenous line.  The nurse will measure your temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate before administering the blood. The nurse will check your name, date of birth, and case number and compare them with the pink sheet attached to the blood unit. You must wear the identification bracelet on your wrist at all times.  Blood transfusion usually takes one to four hours depending on the type and amount of the blood unit. The nurse and doctor will be continuously monitoring you for any adverse reactions.

What are the adverse reactions to blood transfusion?

Some patients may develop a reaction to the transfusion. These reactions might appear as soon as the transfusion is started, or they might appear at a later stage (up to two weeks). Pay attention to the following symptoms:


In case a reaction occurs at home, you must come to the Emergency Department as soon as you can.


FOR ANY INFORMATION on blood transfusion or donation, you can contact the AUBMC Blood Bank on this hotline number: 01374444 extension: 5228 or 5229.

  • For whole blood donors:
Weekdays: 07:30 am – 05:30 pm.
Weekends: 09:00 am – 05:30 pm.
  • For platelet donors:
Weekdays: 07:30 am – 03:00 pm.
Weekends: 09:00 am – 02:00 pm.