What are platelets used for? Platelets, which come from bone marrow, help to induce clotting and control bleeding. Patients who have been treated for leukemia with chemotherapy, for example, will often need to be transfused platelets.
What is the process of donating platelets? During a platelet donation, we will collect one, two, or three units of platelets. One of our medical technicians will recommend the number of units based on your weight, hemoglobin level and platelet count that day.
How long does donating platelets take? Times for donating platelets can vary, but may take up to two hours.
How often can I donate platelets? You can donate platelets every 7 days. However, there is a limit to only 24 platelet donations each year.
Is there any special preparation required to donate platelets? Yes, there is. Please remember to increase intake of fluids, calcium, and iron at least two days before your appointment — this will help prevent donation reactions.
Donors must be aspirin-free for 48 hours to donate platelets. This is because aspirin reduces the potency and performance of your platelets. The more time between taking aspirin and donating platelets, the better for the recipient.
Where can I donate platelets? Platelet donations are accepted at all three of our donor centers.
Are platelets type-specific? Generally speaking, blood type matching between donors and patient does not matter when transfusing platelets. Certain blood types, however, may be better suited for platelet donation: A+, A-, B+ and B-.
How do I know if I am eligible to donate platelets? To find out if you are eligible to donate platelets, make an appointment to donate whole blood, and ask your historian about platelets while you are there.
How do I make an appointment to donate platelets? To make an appointment to donate platelets, give us a call at 650-723-7831.
The Many Uses of Plasma
While plasma had been transfused as part of whole blood for hundreds of years, the specific value of plasma became acutely clear as a result of the devastating violence of WWII. Though plasma could not replace lost red cells and platelets, plasma and its related products were far easier to transport than whole blood (which…
Purple for Platelets: Supporting Patients With Platelet Disorders
Friday, September 24 is Sport Purple for Platelets Day. This national holiday, created by the Platelet Disorder Support Association, is designed to raise awareness for those living with platelet disorders. Platelets are a type of blood cell created in bone marrow that support blood clotting. For this reason, platelet transfusions are commonly required when patients...
SBC Makes History and Enhances Platelet Safety by Going 100% PRT
By Harry Sussmann, Operational Excellence (OpEx) Director On April 28, Stanford Blood Center became the first blood center of its size in the nation to use pathogen reduction technology, or PRT, on 100% of its transfusable platelets produced. With this milestone, SBC is ensuring that the platelet units our donors generously provide are as safe…
Platelet Donation 301 — Platelets and HLA Typing
Most of you probably know that when you donate blood products, they test for your blood type (A-positive, O-negative, etc.). But you might not know that when you donate platelets, they test for an additional type — your HLA type. HLA stands for Human Leukocyte Antigen. These antigens are found on most organs and tissues…
Diaries of a Platelet Donor
In 1989, I was the victim of a serious motorcycle accident. My left leg and hip were seriously injured – I suffered from a broken hip socket, compound fractures of my tibia and fibula, and other issues. I spent a miserable month in the hospital before having to learn to walk again. Through all of…
Platelet Donation 201 — Platelet Donation, Pregnancy and TRALI
Welcome back! As discussed in last week’s blog, Platelet Donation 101, those who have been previously pregnant will need to be tested for HLA antibodies (a simple tube draw that can be performed during a regular whole blood donation) and test negative in order to donate platelets and plasma to reduce risk of TRALI. But…
Platelet Donation 101
As some of you may already know (and some of you may not!), you can actually donate more than one type of blood product. When you think about blood donation, most people probably first think of whole blood (when a person gives one pint of their blood). But another equally important type of donation is…
Should You Be Donating Platelets?
When most people think about making an appointment at Stanford Blood Center (SBC), they think of coming in to donate whole blood, the most common type of donation. Less common, but needed just as much, is platelet donation through apheresis blood collection (ABC). What are platelets? Platelets are blood cells that help stop bleeding. And…