are Platelets ?
Platelets are an important component of blood because
they are a critical part of the clotting process. They prevent or
stop bleeding and are life-saving therapy for patients undergoing
chemotherapy for cancer treatment, leukemia, bone marrow transplants,
organ transplants and open heart surgery. Children undergoing therapy
for cancer and leukemia often need platelets. Due to recent advances
in the treatment of these illnesses, the demand for platelets is growing
Who can Donate Platelets ?
Almost anyone can be a platelet donor. The qualifications
are the same as for whole blood donations. Through a process call
apheresis (pronounced ay-Fuh-REE-sis) or plateletpheresis, which is
a technique of selectively withdrawing a single component of blood,
you can donate platelets, Since platelets only have a shelf life of
five days, the hospital demand for them is constant. That's why we
depend on our platelet apheresis heroes.
Why cant a large amount of platelets be collected during
a regular blood donation ?
Platelet donation allows the collection of a large
quantity of platelets from a single donor. The specialized technology
separates and collects just the platelets and returns the red cells
and plasma to the donor. To equal the quantity of one platelet donation,
we would have to combine or "pool" the platelets from six
different whole blood donations from six different donors.
How is a platelet donation different from a whole blood donation
- Platelets are not collected at Blood Drives.
- Donating platelets is a very safe procedure. Sterile , single
use collection kits and needles are used once, just for you and
- You can donate platelets 24 times a year compared to 4 times
in a year for whole blood.
- Because it takes more time to separate and collect the platelets
from the other components in your blood, the donation takes approximately
90 minutes. The entire process , including paperwork and health
history, usually takes about 2 hours.
- Platelet Donors can not have taken any aspirin or aspirin products
for 48 hours before their donation.
- You feel no different from donating blood, and are instructed
to return to your normal (not strenuous) activities. Dizziness and
fainting are very uncommon with platelet donors.
Can i continue donating whole blood and be a Platelet Donor
YES ! We have several donors that donate both whole blood and platelets.
Due to the difference in donation frequency guidelines, donor can
arrange to fit both types of donations in their schedule.
Whats needed more - Whole Blood or Platelets ?
BOTH !! . There is an equal need for blood and platelets. However
since there are fewer locations for platelet donations, there is a
small donor base and a stronger need to recruit new donors.
Did you know ?
- Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days , so there is a constant
need for platelet donors.
- Whole Blood Donors are eligible every 90- days or about 4 donations
a year ; platelet donors can donate up to 24 times a year.
- Donors can donate platelets within 3 days of a whole blood donation
- Your Body replaces your platelets in about 24 hours.
How often can I donate Platelets ?
Up to 24 times a year ! Due to the flexibility of
platelet donation, many donors create their own schedules. We have
some donors that donate twice a month, once a month, once a year or
whenever they can. And every donation is appreciated !!! There is
a tremendous need for platelet donors.