Patients with cancer or leukemia, transplant patients and those with blood disorders such as aplastic anemia often need platelet transfusions. During chemotherapy and radiation treatment, both cancer cells and platelets are destroyed. Many of these patients need platelet transfusions to prevent uncontrolled bleeding.
What exactly are platelets? Platelets are the component of your blood that initiate clotting when you receive a cut or a bruise, preventing excessive blood loss and further damage to your blood vessels.
When it comes to platelet transfusions, blood type is not a factor like it is when patients receive red blood cells. Because so few patients need A positive or B positive red blood cells, it is much more helpful for donors with these blood types to give platelets.
One whole blood donation provides just one-sixth of a platelet transfusion unit, so multiple donors are needed for each platelet transfusion. Donating just your platelets, however, provides one whole platelet transfusion for a patient in need.
The average platelet count is between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. The donation does not significantly decrease the number of platelets in the donor’s body, and the donated platelets are replaced in approximately two days. Platelet donors can donate every seven days and up to 24 times a year.
The qualifications for platelet donors are similar to those for whole blood donations. The minimum age is 17 (16-and 17-years-old with signed parental consent form*), and platelet donors must weigh at least 125 lbs. (110 lbs. with a high-enough platelet count).
Because there is a special process involved with donating platelets, Central Blood Bank collects platelets at these community donor centers. Click on the center to schedule your lifesaving platelet donation appointment.
|Downtown Pittsburgh||North Hills|
|Green Tree||St. Clair Hospital|
|Harmar/Fox Chapel Area||South Hills|