After being diagnosed with cancer, Tynece Babbs was a recipient of platelets from Blood Assurance and Erlanger Children's Hospital. Platelet donations helped Tynece's headaches and pain go away, and platelets even helped bring back her appetite. But more importantly, platelet donations were a key part in her fighting cancer. Tynece is now cancer-free!
What are platelets?
An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting. During normal blood clotting, the platelets clump together (aggregate). Although platelets are often classed as blood cells, they are actually fragments of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.
What is a platelet donation?
Platelet donation is a type of blood donation where the donor gives only a certain blood component instead of whole blood.
How do platelets help patients?
People with certain blood disorders may not be able to produce healthy platelets of their own. While chemotherapy kills cancer cells, it also destroys platelets. Platelet donations provide the components many patients depend on for their recovery. Platelets are needed by patients who experience trauma, bleeding during surgery, patients with aplastic anemia, transplant recipients, patients with leukemia and patients receiving treatment for cancer.
+ How long does it take to donate platelets?
It normally takes 60 to 120 minutes to complete a platelet donation from registration to completion.
+ How often can I donate platelets?
Platelet donors can give every seven days up to 24 times per year.
+ What is platelet donation like?
Donating platelets feels much like a whole blood donation. The blood is taken from one arm and channeled through a sterile, disposable kit that is placed in a special machine. The machine separates the blood into components, the needed part is taken out, and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor.
If you donate platelets 12-19 times per year, you will receive “Tanker” status, and if you give 20 or more times per year you will receive “Super Tanker” status! Contact us about becoming a “Tanker” or “Super Tanker” today.
- High school students who are at least 16 or 17 years of age require one-time parental consent: consent form-English, consent form-Español and weigh at least 110 pounds. Other donors must be at least 18 years old.
- When checked by our donor care specialist, your iron level must be at least 12.5 g/dL for females and 13.0 g/dL for males.
- Your blood pressure cannot be higher than 180/100 mm Hg or lower than 90/50 mm Hg. If you are currently taking medication you are eligible to donate as long as your blood pressure meets these requirements.
- Your body temperature must be between 96.4 and 100.0 degrees F.
- Your pulse rate must be no less than 50 beats per minute and no more than 100 beats per minute.
- You will be asked a series of questions to ensure that you are eligible to donate.
- Certain medications and medical conditions will prevent you from donating, at least temporarily. Call 800-962-0628 to inquire about your specific medical conditions or medications, or view the Medication Deferral List.