Emily and Elliot - Platelet Recipients

Platelet Donation

Small but mighty, platelets are a precious, lifesaving resource. Learn more about saving lives through platelet donation.

What’s the platelet donation process? How frequently can I donate platelets? Find these answers and everything you need to know about volunteering to donate platelets below.

 

What is platelet donation?

Platelet donations are a special type of blood donation. Our blood is made up of different parts, also called components: red cells, plasma, and platelets. Of the three, platelets are considered a precious resource – not only do they make up a small fraction of our blood, but platelets only last for 5-7 days outside of the body. That means when a donor gets up after their donation, the platelets they leave behind will be used by a patient in a local hospital within the week.

How many platelet units do recipients need (on average)?

Donation Facts

 

“Thank you so much for donating, and if you haven’t donated yet, maybe think about donating. Because people like me really need it.” – Ian O’Keefe

 

Platelets are a component of blood that promotes clotting. They are named after their plate-like shape, and when activated, platelets develop sticky spikes that help them cluster together to seal off cuts and other wounds. Platelets are body’s natural bandages!

Platelets are incredibly important in a wide range of treatments for patients of all kinds, primarily warriors fighting cancer, premature babies, trauma victims, and those receiving organ or bone marrow transplants.

Platelets have a short lifespan and must be transfused within 5-7 days of donation! There is always a need for donors since these cells cannot be stockpiled.

Help save lives in your community. Become a volunteer platelet donor today!

Beacon Club Platelets

Earn exclusive rewards, and show your platelet pride through the Beacon Club Platelets.

 
 

Every day, patients in your community need blood and platelet transfusions to survive and thrive. They rely on the generosity of donors like you, who help ensure a safe, healthy blood supply. Make an appointment to donate platelets today.

Explore donation opportunities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Versiti invites you to share your story and photo to help encourage more people to give back. You may even be featured throughout the year on our social media. Please complete the form below or contact us at donormarketing@versiti.org if you have any questions.

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Platelet donations are a special type of blood donation. Our blood is made up of different parts, also called components: red cells, plasma, and platelets. Of the three, platelets are considered a precious resource – not only do they make up a small fraction of our blood, but platelets only last for five to seven days outside of the body. That means when a donor gets up after their donation, the platelets they leave behind will be used by a patient in a local hospital within the week.

All you have to do is make an appointment at one of our donor centers!

Platelets can be donated up to 24 times a year, and we usually ask donors to wait two weeks between appointments. The small percentage of platelets that you donate will be quickly replenished by your body.

Platelet donations are a special type of blood donation. Our blood is made up of different parts, also called components: red cells, plasma, and platelets. Of the three, platelets are considered a precious resource – not only do they make up a small fraction of our blood, but platelets only last for 5-7 days outside of the body. That means when a donor gets up after their donation, the platelets they leave behind will be used by a patient in a local hospital within the week.

Platelets can live for 5-7 days outside the body.

Donors of all blood types are encouraged to donate! Donors give platelets through a process called apheresis, which we explain in another section below.

Anyone who has ever been pregnant is encouraged to offer up their arm for a regular blood donation (called a ‘whole blood’ donation) and let staff know they’re interested in donating platelets. A small sample of blood will be taken for testing to see if they’re eligible. The reasoning behind this is that certain antibodies can develop during pregnancy that are harmful if transfused into certain patients. Unfortunately, these antibodies are present forever, so if a donor tests positive for them they will be unable to donate platelets. That being said, those donors are still eligible to donate other components!

Anyone who has ever been pregnant is encouraged to offer up their arm for a regular blood donation (called a ‘whole blood’ donation) and let staff know they’re interested in donating platelets. A small sample of blood will be taken for testing to see if they’re eligible. The reasoning behind this is that certain antibodies can develop during pregnancy that are harmful if transfused into certain patients. Unfortunately, these antibodies are present forever, so if a donor tests positive for them they will be unable to donate platelets. That being said, those donors are still eligible to donate red blood cells!

The easiest way to define apheresis is taking one part of your blood and giving you back the rest. This is the process of giving platelets: blood is collected using a sophisticated machine where platelets are separated from the rest of your blood and the remaining components (such as plasma or red cells) are safely returned to you through the same arm.

As long as you are 17-years-old and meet the minimum requirements for donating whole blood you may be able to donate platelets. Visit the whole blood donation eligibility requirements to learn more.

We reserve 2-hour appointments to ensure enough time for the entire process and you are encouraged to bring a book, watch a movie, or just sit back and relax. Remember: your donation will benefit a local patient within the week!

Just like donating blood, platelet donors will want to get a good night’s sleep on the night leading up to their donation. Unlike donating whole blood, you are required to avoid aspirin for 48 hours before donation, as it will affect the clotting properties of your platelets. We also recommend that donors drink fluids and have a full meal prior to your donation.

Platelets are a component of blood that promotes clotting. They are named after their plate-like shape, and when activated, platelets develop sticky spikes that help them cluster together to seal off cuts and other wounds. Platelets are body’s natural bandages! Many cancer patients rely on platelets throughout the course of their treatment. Nearly 50% of donated platelets are used in patients with a cancer diagnosis. Other platelet recipients include premature babies, trauma victims, and those receiving organ or bone marrow transplants.

Yes! You can feel good knowing that you are donating for most critically ill patients. In addition, first time donors receive fun swag and frequent donors earn exclusive gifts for reaching annual milestone donation levels. Learn more about The Beacon Club Platelets.
 
Whole Blood Donation
Volunteer to donate blood at a blood donation center near you. Find out how often you can donate blood and make an appointment to donate today.
 
Double Red Cells Donation
Volunteer to donate double red cells at a blood donation center near you. Learn more about donating red blood cells and make an appointment to donate today.
 
Plasma Donation
Volunteer to donate plasma at a blood and plasma donation center near you. Find out how often you can donate plasma and make an appointment to donate today.
 
Blood Types Explained
Find the facts about different blood types, from A+ to O-. Learn more about why people have different blood types before your next blood donation.
 
The Beacon Club for Platelets
Versiti’s Beacon Club platelet program celebrates the donation milestones of lifesaving platelet donors. Donate platelets and you are automatically part of the club.
 
Blood Donation Locations
Find a Versiti blood donation center and search for a blood drive near you. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
 
Volunteering with Versiti
Versiti volunteers provide an invaluable service to our lifesaving mission. Learn more about Versiti’s volunteer services and how you can serve your community.