Platelet Pheresis Donation
Your blood may be more special than you think. Unyts Community Blood Service is asking you to consider becoming a platelet pheresis donor to help local patients in need in our community. Platelets are essential for normal blood clotting and are used in the treatment of serious illness, including cancer, leukemia and aplastic anemia, as well as heart and transplant surgery patients.
During platelet donation, blood is taken from one arm through a needle into a machine that contains a sterile, disposable plastic kit specifically designed for this purpose. Platelets and plasma are taken out of the whole blood, and red cells and sterile fluid are returned to the donor.
Platelet donation is easy and only takes 30-45 minutes longer than whole blood donation. During your donation, you can relax while watching a movie, listening to music, or visiting with our dedicated and friendly staff.
What is Platelet Pheresis?
Blood is drawn from a donor and separated into components, some of which are retained, the remainder are returned to the donor.
Is Platelet Donation Safe?
Donor safety is the highest priority at Unyts. A new and sterile donation kit (collection bag, tubing and needle) is used for every donor. The donor is never at risk of being exposed to another donor’s blood and never comes in contact with the sterile machine.
Become a Regular Platelet Donor
After donation, your body will replace the lost platelets within 24-48 hours. At Unyts, platelets can be donated every 14 days. Donors who give whole blood may donate platelets 56 days after a whole blood donation.
Why are Platelets Needed?
Platelets aid in the clotting process to prevent or stop bleeding, and are used in the treatment of serious illness or surgery.
- Patients in a high-dose chemotherapy treatment often need 8 units of platelets every three days.
- Leukemia patients may require 10-12 units of platelets weekly.
- Bone marrow transplant patients can use as many as 120 units of platelets.
- Platelets must be transfused within five days.
- Up to 40% of donated platelets are transfused to children.
- Platelets are often in very short supply due to their high demand and short shelf life.
Who Can Be a Platelet Donor?
To qualify as a platelet donor, you must:
- weigh at least 110 pounds,
- be at least 17 years of age,
- be in good general health,
- have suitable veins, to be determined by Unyts staff, and
- not take products containing aspirin for three days before your donation.
How Can I Become a Platelet Donor?
Contact the Pheresis Recruitment Specialist at 716.512.7967 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to donate platelets. Please don’t hesitate to contact Monique if you have questions or concerns about the donation process.
Click here to download our Platelet Pheresis Brochure (PDF)
On behalf of the hundreds of Western New Yorkers in our community who are dependent on blood products to survive, thank you for giving the Gift of Life.