What are platelets?
Platelets are a component of blood which is essential for clotting. When blood vessels are damaged, platelets collect at the site to form a “plug” to prevent or stop bleeding.
Why are platelets needed?
Lifesaving platelet transfusions are needed every day by injured combat troops and patients with life–threatening illnesses such as leukemia, anemia, cancer, and other diseases of the blood. Because bone marrow malfunction or chemotherapy treatment, their bodies are unable to produce platelets.
We need you to donate regularly!
Your donation can save someone’s life in just a matter of days. Platelets must be transfused within five days of collection; therefore, regular donors are essential to ensure that platelets are always there when needed. A single platelet apheresis donation provides enough platelets for one or more transfusions.
FAQ’s about donating platelets
What’s it like?
- During a platelet donation, the donor’s blood is withdrawn from one arm and the platelets are extracted through an apheresis machine. The apheresis machine separates the platelets from the blood, and then all the remaining blood components (red cells, white cells, and plasma) are returned through the same arm.
How long is the process?
- The donation process generally takes about two hours. Relax, watch TV, read, or listen to music while you donate–it’s the perfect time to unwind!
Can I donate and how often?
- Most healthy adults are eligible to donate platelets if they meet the criteria to donate whole blood.
- You can donate platelets every two weeks, up to 24 times per year
Additional helpful donation tips:
- Have not taken aspirin or anti-platelet medication for 72 hours prior to donation
- Have not taken ibuprofen (i.e. Motrin, Advil) for 24 hours prior to donation
- Eat a good meal and hydrate prior to donating
- Drinking a glass of milk prior to donating can help during the donation process
How to donate
Donating platelets is done by appointment only because of the donation process being two hours long. Please give us a call at (254) 553-6972
page last modified on: 5/7/2013