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Platelets

Platelets are cells that help control bleeding by clotting.  Platelet donation involves:

  • Drawing blood from the donor

 

  • Subjecting the blood to a centrifgue to separate the platelets.

 

  • Returning the remaining blood to the donor.
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A single donation provides at least one therapeutic dose, as oppposed to multiple donations for whole blood.  This exposes recipients to fewer donors and means less risk of transfusion-transmitted disease and other complications.
   
  • Donated platelets last only five days.
  • A single donor may donate platelets every two weeks.
  • Uses include:
    • Open heart surgery - needs 6 units
    • Bone marrow transplant - needs 6-8 units daily for 4-6 weeks
    • Leukemia - needs 6-10 units daily