How often can you donate platelets?
You can donate platelets once every 10 days, up to 36 times a year.
How are platelets collected?
Platelets can be obtained in two ways:
- Whole blood donation: A donation of whole blood contains a small quantity of platelets. These are separated by centrifugation.
- Donation of platelets by apheresis: Platelets are separated during the donation using high-tech equipment connected to the donor. The automated cell separator is connected to the donor’s arm in order to draw the whole blood. It then separates the platelets and returns the other components to the donor.
It takes five whole blood donations to obtain the same quantity of platelets gathered in a single donation by apheresis!
Why choose to donate platelets by apheresis?
- Because you can contribute up to 36 times a year toward the survival of suffering people. In fact, you can make a donation of platelets every 10 days. Your body produces millions of platelets a minute. The incredible rapidity with which platelets are regenerated makes it possible for a donor to recover fully. Comparatively, you can make only 6 donations of whole blood annually.
- Because platelets can be stored only for 7 days.
- Because it takes five donors of whole blood to obtain the same quantity of platelets received through a single donation by apheresis.
- Because there is less chance the platelets will be rejected by the recipient's body when platelets are transfused from a single donor.
What is the process of donating platelets by apheresis?
This method of platelet collection takes two hours and is performed through an automated process called plateletpheresis.
During the collection, the donor’s blood flows through the tubing into the apheresis instrument. Through centrifugation, the apheresis instrument extracts only the donor’s platelets which are collected in a sterile bag. The rest of the blood flows back through the tubing to the donor.
This is a sterile procedure, and the disposable materials are only used once before being discarded.
For your ultimate comfort, the donation by apheresis is carried out under the constant supervision of a nurse.
Where can I donate platelets by apheresis?
You can donate platelets at one of Héma-Québec’s GLOBULE Blood Donor Centres.