Platelet Donation and Matched Platelet Donations in Western Washington

September 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm

     Recently, many people in Western Washington have asked about platelet donation and matched platelet donations. We explain here why platelets are so important for cancer patients and victims of severe injuries, and how matched platelet donations happen. Eligibility information and donation scheduling resources are here for you as well. Feel free to try the new Facebook scheduling application!

     Thank you for helping to save lives in your community!

Why should I become a platelet donor?
     Every month, hundreds of patients in Western Washington need platelet transfusions to support them through treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, burns, traumatic injuries and other life-threatening conditions. Platelets are small cell fragments in the blood that help control bleeding and allow healing.

Can I direct my platelet donation to a specific patient?
     Most patients can receive unmatched platelet donations. Only about four percent of platelet donations in Western Washington are matched, and the Blood Center contacts donors as soon as they are found to be a match.

What is the best way I can help?
     The best way to help is to become a regular donor of whole blood or platelets. Each platelet donation gives up to 12 times the number of platelets as a single whole blood donation. If you become a platelet match for a patient, Puget Sound Blood Center will contact you right away.

How do I donate platelets?
     During an apheresis donation, blood is drawn from your arm into a machine that separates your platelets from your other blood components. The platelets are collected in a bag, and the remaining blood components are returned to you. The process takes approximately two hours. Another option is to start with whole blood donation (an approximately 10 minute procedure), and then try platelet donation.

Who is Eligible to Donate?
     If you meet the requirements for donating blood, you probably can give platelets. Apheresis donors must:

     -Be at least 18 years old
     -Be in good health
     -Weigh at least 110 pounds
     -Take no aspirin or products containing aspirin 48 hours prior to donation.

If you have a question regarding your eligibility, contact

Call: 800-366-2831, x2543

How can I schedule a donation?
Call: 1-800-398-7888
Visit: Online Appointments
Visit: Puget Sound Blood Center Facebook Application
Visit: Southwest Washington Blood Program Facebook Application

Patients in Western Washington need 900 blood product donations per day. Patients heal and recover thanks to the generosity of donors such as yourself.

Social Media Coordinator
Puget Sound Blood Center