Many lifesaving medical treatments require platelet transfusions. Cancer patients, those receiving organ or bone marrow transplants, victims of traumatic injuries, and patients undergoing open heart surgery require platelet transfusions to survive.
Because platelets must be transfused within five days of the donation, the need for platelet donations is vast and continuous. Platelet transfusions are needed each year by thousands of patients like these:
Different patients need different types of blood components, depending on their illness or injury. After you donate whole blood, the unit is separated into platelets, red cells and plasma in our laboratory. Only two tablespoons of platelets are collected from a whole blood donation. Six whole blood donations must be separated and pooled to provide a single platelet transfusion. However, one apheresis donation provides enough platelets for one complete transfusion – that’s six times the amount collected from a whole blood donation.
Blood is drawn from your arm through sterile tubing into a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood to separate the components, which vary in weight and density. A port is opened along the spinning tubing at the level containing platelets. These platelets are drawn up into a collection bag, while the remaining blood components (red cells and plasma) are returned to the donor's blood stream.
Depending on your weight and height, the apheresis donation process will take approximately 70 minutes to two hours. You may watch television or videotapes, listen to music, or simply sit back and relax while helping to save a life.Donor Informed Consent
If you meet the eligibility requirements for donating whole blood, you can probably give platelets. Apheresis donors must:
Are Apheresis Donations Safe?
Yes. Each donation is closely supervised throughout the procedure by trained staff. A small percentage of your platelets are collected, so there is no risk of bleeding problems. Your body will replace the donated platelets within 72 hours. The donation equipment (needle, tubing, collection bags) is sterile and discarded after every donation, making it virtually impossible to contract a disease from the process.
Click here to view our apheresis brochure.For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 800-747-5401 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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