Updated at: 31-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Donating platelets may not be as well-known as donating blood. What you need to know about platelet donations is laid out in this article, and you’ll know that from the title alone.

Did you know that our blood contains a variety of constituents? It’s also worth noting that you can give each of these parts independently. Other blood components and their functions will be discussed as well. You can now learn more about the intriguing workings of the human body. You may be surprised to realize just how important our blood is to our survival if you take the time to read this article. As a result, let’s get this party started, shall we?

Components Of Blood

What are the parts of blood made up of? Individual components of our blood can be donated. In our blood, there are five elements. Each of the elements is described in detail in this section.


Component #1. Red blood cells

Oxygen is delivered to the various organs of our body by the red blood cells, or RBCs. They distribute oxygen by transporting it from our lungs to our bloodstream. As a result of their more active bloodstreams, athletes and physically active individuals have better-oxygenated blood. The red color of our blood is due to the presence of red blood cells. Bone marrow is the source of these cells. In a donation container, it can last for up to 42 days. When it’s being stored, it needs to be kept cool. Learn about double red blood cell donations before you make one.

Component #2. Platelets

Platelets are responsible for repairing any wounds that you may have suffered. Colorless sheets that adhere to one another to form a barrier against intruders. Minutes after the flesh has been torn, they may show up as a yellowish patch of firm skin on the skin. They have a five-day shelf life. Room temperature storage is all that is required for them. To keep them from clumping, they must be regularly shuffled. For cancer patients, they’re a need. The platelet count drops in dengue patients, resulting in internal bleeding. They’re also needed here.

Component #3. Plasma

Plasma is the blood’s liquid component, and it is only in this that the blood cells are suspended. Because of the number of red blood cells, it may appear that the blood’s liquid component is also red. Is the color of blood? After being removed from whole blood, this blood component can be observed to have played no role in causing the red hue of blood. Only roughly 8% of the body’s weight is made up of non-water components like vital proteins, minerals, hormones, and vitamins. Plasma has a shelf life of up to a year when stored properly. They, too, must be frozen. People with bleeding disorders frequently need plasma. Electrolytes that our muscles need are carried by plasma, which also maintains our body’s pH balance.

Component #4. Cryo

Plasma that has been frozen and then slowly thawed is known as cryo. An eye-catching white hue distinguishes Cryo. In the same way that plasma may be preserved for a year, so can this blood component. Exceptional clotting factors in their blood help keep bleeding to a minimum. When the body is damaged, they aid in the reduction of bleeding. In order for the platelets to seal the wound, the bleeding must be controlled. Hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease are the most common conditions in which cryotherapy is employed.

Component #5. White Blood Cells

The body’s white blood cells are responsible for protecting the body against foreign invaders. Invading microorganisms like viruses and bacteria are among the things it eliminates. Antibodies are produced by white blood cells once they have come into contact with germs or viruses. As a result, they become immune to them. It’s common for people who need platelets to also need white blood cells. A weakened immune system is a sure sign that additional “soldiers” are needed to fight the virus weakening their bodies.

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What A Platelet Donation Is?

A platelet donation may raise the question, “What exactly is a platelet donation?” Be sure to get enough of sleep the night before you donate your platelets. Days before, eat a diet high in calcium. Platelet donations are made using a machine that extracts only the platelets. This treatment will make use of both arms.

When blood is extracted from one arm, the platelets are removed and the remainder of the blood is returned to the other arm via the machine. When your blood starts flowing again, you could get a little chilly, so they’ll give you some blankets to keep you warm. Three hours are needed to complete the procedure. Donors are encouraged to replenish their platelets as quickly as possible by staying hydrated and resting following their donation. Regular blood donation has 13 incredible health benefits, which you might want to learn more about.

Why is there always a need for platelets?

Platelets have a shelf life of 5-7 days when stored at room temperature. Frozen plasma may be stored for up to a year, and frozen red cells can be stored for 42 days. Because of this, platelet donations are continually in demand. Because of their short shelf life, we must constantly replenish our supply of platelets to keep up with patient demand. Platelets can be given every seven days and up to 24 times a year, which is a blessing for patients.

Who Needs Platelets?

Platelet transfusions are necessary for many life-saving medical procedures. Those having open-heart surgery, those battling cancer, and those who have received bone marrow transplants all need platelet transfusions in order to survive. Because platelets can only be preserved for five days, there is a constant and enormous demand for platelet donations. Thousands of patients like these require platelet transfusions each year.

  • Six units of heart surgery were performed on this patient.
  • There are 20 units of a burn patient.
  • Recipient of a 30-unit transplant
  • Blood Transplantation Patient, 120 units.

What is Apheresis?

An apheresis donation is a particular sort of blood donation that allows a donor to provide specific blood components, such as platelets. As part of the apheresis operation, blood components other than those needed are returned to the donor.

Who Can be an Apheresis Donor?

Platelets can be donated if you meet the criteria for donating blood. Donors of apheresis must:

  • be over the age of 18
  • maintain a sound physical condition
  • At least 114 lbs. in weight
  • 48 hours previous to donation, the donor should not have taken aspirin or items containing aspirin.

Are Apheresis Donations Safe?

Yes. Throughout the donation process, a team of qualified professionals keeps a close eye on each donation. Because only a small portion of your platelets are removed, there is little danger of excessive bleeding. Within 72 hours, your body will replenish the platelets it received from the donor. In order to prevent the spread of disease during the donation process, all of the donation equipment (such as needles, tubing, and collection bags) is sterilized and discarded after each donation.

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How Does the Procedure Work?

Blood is extracted from your arm and placed in an automatic cell separator during an Apheresis donation. Your blood is spun and the platelets are extracted in a sterile kit inside the machine. Afterwards, the residual blood components are returned to your arm via the artery.

How Long Does it Take?

The Apheresis donation process might take anywhere from 70 minutes to two hours, depending on your weight and height. While helping to save a life, you can sit back and relax while watching television or watching videotapes.

How Can I Become an Apheresis Donor?

At 425-453-5098 or 1-800-398-7888, you can get additional information about Bloodworks Northwest’s Apheresis Program.

Additional Donor Information on Apheresis Procedures

Platelets aid in halting blood loss. To guarantee that you have enough platelets to safely donate to another person, your platelet count will be evaluated with each donation you make. We’ll let you know if your platelet count is abnormally low or high following your initial donation.

We employ a citrate-based anticoagulant to keep the flow of blood while our gadget gathers platelets. To prevent blood clots, the citrate briefly binds calcium.

During the collection process, your blood is mixed with a liquid called a “anticoagulant” to prevent it from clotting. The anticoagulant can cause numbness and tingling in the fingers or around the mouth when the blood is returned to you. If you notice any tingling or numbness, notify the machine operator immediately. Calcium can alleviate these symptoms, but if left untreated, they might worsen and lead to painful muscle cramps. Your body will use the citrate as an energy source.

It’s A Wrap!

It’s good to know that you can give platelets up to 24 times a year now that you know what they are. Every seven days, you are allowed to give platelets. We have no doubt that those in need will be appreciative. Please take a moment to thank me for writing this post. You might also want to know the importance of blood donation and why my blood donation was turned down.