Updated at: 20-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What Happens When You Donate Platelets

Plateletpheresis is a more efficient method of donating platelets than collecting them from whole blood donations. Six to eight whole blood donors are needed for a single platelet therapy, rather than only one plateletpheresis donor. Having fewer donors minimizes the risk of infection for the patient.

In order to maintain a healthy circulatory system, platelets are essential. An effective clot is formed when these blood cells are present. In the bone marrow, platelets are created, and the typical range is between 150,000 and 500,000.

There is a 5-day shelf life for Platelets that have been donated, thus we are in need of more. Patients with cancer, thrombocytopenia, platelet malfunction, those who have lost a significant amount of blood in an accident, or those who have persistent illnesses that lower their platelet count may all benefit from platelet donation.

Why are platelets so important?

Platelets are the microscopic blood cells that form clots and block blood from leaking out of your body. They are vital to the survival and treatment of cancer, chronic diseases, and catastrophic injuries for tens of millions of Americans. Someone requires platelets every fifteen seconds. New donors are required every day to meet the five-day platelet shelf life. The reason we need you is because of that.

Four Steps Of Platelet Donation

What is the process of donating platelets? When you donate platelets, a machine will take your blood and return only the platelets. Platelet donation, on the other hand, requires four processes.. To have a thorough picture of how everything works, make sure you read the essay from beginning to end.

Step #1. Eat before going for donation

It is imperative that you eat or have a salty snack before donating, as well as drink plenty of water. Before donating platelets, it’s a good idea to eat something. Your blood sugar will be maintained so that you don’t feel dizzy or lightheaded following donation.

Rather than consuming a lot of oily meals, opt for foods high in iron such as spinach, fish, chicken, and fruits and vegetables. Prepare your meal two to three hours ahead of time in order to give. Drinking hot beverages less than 30 minutes before donating plasma is also advised.

Step #2. Criteria for donation

Once you arrive at the clinic for donating, they will check your temperature. To be eligible for donation, your BMI will be calculated based on your weight and height. An induvial should weigh at least 50kgs and must have a height of a minimum of 5ft.

Step #3. The procedure

After arriving at the clinic, they will do a temperature check. To be eligible for donation, your BMI will be calculated based on your weight and height. Weight and height requirements for an induvial are 50 kilograms (110 pounds) and 5 feet (1.5 meters).

A centrifuging machine is connected to needles placed into veins in both arms. Platelet donation is completely painless. Inserting a needle, on the other hand, may cause some discomfort.

Your arm’s blood will be centrifuged, dividing it into its components and isolating the platelets from the rest of the blood. As the centrifuge spins rapidly, it divides the blood’s constituent parts into different compartments according to their densities.

For each donation, this blood spins a few times. The sterile bag will contain the platelets that have been harvested. Through a second needle, the remaining blood components will be returned to the body. Platelet donation will take between two and three hours to complete.

Three whole blood donations yielded the same platelet count as one single donation. Platelets donated by a single individual may be used for the treatment of up to three patients at the same time.

Step #4. After the donation

The medical personnel will remove the needles and send the platelet bag to the blood bank once the procedure is complete. After donating, you should take a little break and eat some food. Snacks and water bottles are typically provided by volunteers at blood drives and clinics.

After donating, it is just as vital to eat as it is to eat before donating to avoid feeling weak or dizzy. Drink plenty of water for the next twenty-four hours to avoid dehydration.

Three Important Points For Platelet Donation

Before donating platelets, there are a few things you should bear in mind. Before giving blood, your platelets’ quality can be affected by what you do to prepare for the process of blood removal and transfer to another person’s body.

Point #1. Blood types

Platelet donation is possible for all blood types, except for O negative and B negative, which are not eligible. Platelet donations are most commonly made by people with blood type AB. Your blood will be tested first by medical professionals to determine if it is suitable for donation to those in need.

Point #2. Diet

Donating blood requires frequent intake of calcium supplements. Iron absorption from the gut is impossible without enough calcium intake. Increase your intake of iron-rich foods like meat and leafy greens. Read this article, “What to eat before blood donation?” for more information.

Point #3. The period between each donation

As long as you are healthy, you can give once a week and six times in eight weeks. Platelets can be donated thirty times a year by one person. As a result, if you’re planning on making a donation, abstain from bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. “What to do before, during, and after a donation?” is also recommended reading.

What is it like to donate platelets?

Donating platelets differs from donating whole blood in that the platelets are used in a different way. In order to do so, this is how:

  • Only a few American Red Cross Donation Centers accept platelet donations, and those that do require an appointment. Sadly, they are ineligible to donate at a blood drive.
  • Platelet donation employs a machine to separate your platelets from the rest of your blood, and then returns the rest of your blood to you.
  • Donating platelets takes around three hours from start to end.
  • A platelet donation necessitates the use of both arms. In order to remove platelets, a machine is used to suck blood from one arm, and the remaining blood components are returned to you via the other arm.
  • Normally, it would take up to five whole blood donations to provide the same amount of platelets as a single platelet donation. However, a single platelet donation can supply the blood of as many as two or three people.
  • Platelets can be donated up to 24 times a year, however entire blood can only be donated 6 times a year.
    • A blood cell separator separates the red and white blood cells from a little volume of blood collected from your arm.
    • Platelets are separated from the rest of the blood when this blood is rapidly spun.
    • After that, the cells are placed in a sterile, single-use plastic bag for future usage.
    • In the meantime, your plasma, red and white blood cells, and other components of your blood are restored to you.
    • Repeatedly, this cycle is repeated. In many cases, a single platelet donation yields many transfusable units.

If I donate platelets, where do they go and who do they help?

  • There is always a high need for platelets in hospitals.
  • It is instantly analyzed and packaged for delivery to a hospital after your platelet donation. In most cases, platelets are transfused within three days of being donated.
  • In the United States, over 2 million platelet units are transfused annually.
  • Platelets are needed by someone in the United States every 15 seconds.
    • It is through platelets that cancer sufferers can continue their struggle. Low platelet count is a common adverse effect of chemotherapy for cancer patients. In the absence of a platelet transfusion, cancer patients are at risk of bleeding to death because platelets aid in blood clotting.
    • When patients have severe procedures or are injured, platelets can aid in their recovery. Patients who have undergone significant surgery or sustained a serious accident may require platelet transfusions to replenish platelets lost to hemorrhage. While they’re healing, platelets keep them going.
    • Patients with blood problems and those who have undergone transplants benefit from platelets, which strengthen their bodies. These individuals benefit greatly from platelet transfusions, which enable them remain active and healthy for longer periods of time.
  • There is a constant demand for new platelet donors because they must be used within five days. The reason we need you is because of that.

How long does it take to donate platelets?

  • Donating platelets takes around three hours from start to end. It will take about 30 minutes to fill out the health history form and have the machine set up for you. After that, you can plan to spend about two hours in the donation area before heading to the refreshment room for a bite.
  • That’s because separating platelets from the rest of the blood takes time. Platelets are extracted from your blood during the procedure, and other fluids are returned to you at the same time.
  • You may unwind, enjoy a movie, or play music while making a donation. You’ll have donated enough platelets in a few hours to help up to three people.
  • It’s a way for many platelet donors to decompress from the stresses of daily life while saving lives.

What are the benefits to donating platelets?

  • Knowing that you’re making a difference in the lives of cancer patients.
  • As many as three patients may benefit from one platelet donation, depending on the donor’s ability to donate a full dose of platelets. For patients requiring a platelet transfusion, many doctors and hospitals prefer it.
  • In comparison to a standard whole blood donation, platelet donation involves the use of a smaller needle, which makes it more comfortable for certain donors.
  • Some platelet donors report feeling less lethargic afterward because they receive fluids and red blood cells in return for their donation.
  • It’s a way for many platelet donors to decompress from the stresses of daily life while saving lives.

How safe is donating platelets?

  • Platelet donation is a safe practice.
  • Professionally trained workers perform platelet donations in a carefully regulated setting.
  • A new, sterile needle is used for each donation and then destroyed.
  • After donating platelets, some people may feel lightheaded or dizzy, have a bad stomach, or have a bruise where the needle was inserted. However, the vast majority of people feel well.

Does it hurt?

  • For the time being. Grab your arm by the soft fleshy underside. A similar sensation will be felt as the needles are placed into each arm.
  • In comparison to a standard whole blood donation, platelet donation involves the use of a smaller needle, which makes it more comfortable for certain donors.
  • As the fluids are returned to you, some donors have the chills. To keep warm, there are blankets provided. A tingling feeling is also possible for certain donors. Calcium can quickly reduce this modest reaction from your body’s anticoagulant when the blood is returned. You will be given a calcium supplement like Tums® if this happens.

How often can I donate platelets?

  • Up to 24 times a year, platelets can be donated every seven days. Platelet donors may have a huge influence if they donated at least 10 times a year!

How can I get ready to donate my platelets?

  • An appointment is required to donate blood plasma. You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, using the free Blood Donor App, or scheduling online.
  • If you have a mobile device or a desktop computer, you can begin the blood donation process at any time with RapidPass®. Before you arrive, be prepared to answer questions and complete most of the paperwork.
  • Bring your Red Cross donor card or photo I.D. with you, or use the Blood Donor App to access your information ahead of time.
  • Two full calendar days before your appointment, refrain from taking any aspirin products. The earliest you can give platelets is Thursday if you consume aspirin products on Monday.
  • A three-hour donation commitment is recommended to ensure a complete donation.
  • Prepare for your donation by getting a good night’s sleep.
  • For a few days previous to the donation, make sure you’re getting lots of calcium-rich foods and beverages.
  • You can donate platelets up to 24 times a year, seven days a week, if you like.
  • The eligibility requirements, such as restrictions on travel and medicine, can be found in the following sections.

Who is eligible to donate platelets?

  • Individuals in generally good health who meet weight and height requirements may be eligible to donate platelets at the age of 16-17, depending on the state.
  • Please check out our eligibility criteria, since certain states require parental approval. More details on travel and medicine restrictions are also available.
  • Your Red Cross donor card or other form of identification is required for blood donation.
  • Two full calendar days before your appointment, refrain from taking any aspirin products. The earliest you can give platelets is Thursday if you consume aspirin products on Monday.
  • In order to donate platelets, you must meet the same criteria as you would for a full blood donation. You may be able to donate platelets if you meet the minimum standards for giving whole blood.
  • When it comes to blood and platelet recipients, recent research has found that women who had previously been pregnant had antibodies that are more likely to cause post-transfusion difficulties. The Red Cross will question new female platelet donors about their pregnancy history and test those who have been pregnant for these antibodies until these problems are better understood. Donors who test positive for antibodies may be told that a whole blood donation or a Power Red donation is a better option for them, even though this has no effect on the donor’s health.

What blood types should donate platelets?

  • Platelet donation is open to all blood types except O negative and B negative. If you are a type O negative or a type B negative, giving whole blood or a Power Red donation can have the greatest impact on those who are in need.
  • By giving plasma, type AB donors can have the most impact. There are a few American Red Cross Donation Centers where you can donate plasma in the same way as platelets. Compared to donating blood or platelets, you can contribute up to three times as much plasma via plasma donation, which allows you to have a greater effect with fewer donations.

Can I donate plasma at the same time as platelets?

  • Platelet donation is an option if you have type AB blood and your local American Red Cross Donation Center does not provide plasma-only contributions at the moment. Donating platelets and plasma at the same time is possible.
  • Type AB blood is extremely rare, with only 4% of Americans having it.
  • The universal plasma donor is someone with type AB blood, which means that your AB plasma can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type.

It’s A Wrap!

Platelet contributions are always encouraged because they expire after five days and are a kind gesture.

However, it is recommended that platelets be transferred within three days of a platelet donation to ensure optimal results. Before donating platelets, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process. You’ll feel better and be more prepared for platelet donation if you do this. “How long does it take to recuperate following double red cell donation?” is another topic for your consideration.