Requirements for Donating Platelets

  • General good health
  • At least 18 years old (17 with parental consent)
  • Weight at least 110 pounds
  • Pass a general health and lifestyle screening
  • Avoid taking anything containing aspirin for a minimum of 48 hours prior to donation

You may donate platelets no more frequently than every two days, no more than twice in one week, and no more than 24 times in a year.  To donate platelets you must not take anything containing aspirin for 2 full days prior to the donation.  (Aspirin has been shown to adversely affect the platelet.) 

Why should I become a platelet donor?

Platelets have a short shelf life of only five days. We constantly need blood platelets to support our patients.  Platelet donors are constantly needed to support our patients.  Platelets have a shelf life of only five days, so the need is much greater than for whole blood, which lasts up to 42 days.

Friends and family members of patietns using plateltes are encouraged to consider replacing units used.  Replacement platelets products are entered into the general inventory and used as needed for the good of all patients.

What are platelets?

Platelets area  type of blood cell that are necessary for blood to form a clot.  Many different types of patients require transfusions of platelet products as part of their treatment, such as cancer and bone marrow transplant patients, surgical patients, obstetrical patients and other patients with bleeding problems.

Platelets are collected through a process called "apheresis."  The word "apheresis" comes from a Greed root meaning "to remove and separate."  The apheresis process involves the insertion of a needle in your arm similar to the needle used in any whole blood collection process.

Your blood is circulated through the processing equipment, platelet cells are removed, and the remaining blood is returned to you.  This process can take from one to two hours.  Your blood never touches anything but sterile, single-use tubing while the platelets are collected.  We have internet, TV and DVD entertainment to help pass the time.