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You must know about Platelets donation process before you donate !

Platelet donation is achieved through a process called apheresis. The word "apheresis" (pronounced Ay-fur-EE-sis) comes from a Greek term meaning to take away or to separate. When you give a regular blood donation at the blood center, your blood is separated into its components -- red cells, platelets, and plasma. Each component meets a different and very important medical need of a waiting patient.

When you make a donation through the apheresis process, you give one specific component of the blood, most often platelets.

Platelets are cell fragments in the blood that enable blood to clot. Cancer and chemotherapy treatments can affect the body's ability to produce platelets. Patients with leukemia, aplastic anemia, those receiving chemotherapy or undergoing bone marrow transplants often rely on platelets donated by healthy volunteers to prevent life-threatening bleeding.

It requires six whole blood donors of the same blood type to make up one platelet unit. Once donated, this living gift must be transfused to a patient within five days. To assure that platelets are always available, and that each patient will receive the platelets that are the best match, platelet donations are needed every day.

Who is eligible to donate platelets?

Those with high platelet counts are ideal for apheresis donation. Whole blood donors who are identified as ideal candidates will be notified by the American Red Cross. Basic eligibility criteria are as follows:

•  Must be at least 17 years old (16 in state of MD with written parental permission)

•  Must weigh at least 60 kgs.

•  Must not have received a tattoo or body piercing within the past year.

•  Must be in generally good health the day of the donation.

How often can I donate platelets?

Federal minimum guidelines dictate that platelets can be donated every 7 days. If you have recently donated whole blood, you may donate platelets 14 days following your whole blood donation. You may donate whole blood again 7 days after you donate platelets.

The donation process

The donation itself takes approximately 90 to 120 minutes. During this time, you can sit back in a specially contoured chair, relax, watch a movie or listen to music. While you relax, a small portion of your blood (less than one pint at a time), is drawn from your arm and passed through a highly sophisticated cell-separating machine which collects the platelets and returns the rest of your blood components to you. Your blood passes through a sterile, disposable kit that is used once -- for you -- and discarded. Your blood never touches the machine.

After the donation you can resume your normal activities, avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous exercise that day.

Have A Healthy And Safe Donation !