Donate Platelets

Platelet (Apheresis) Donations

Do something Extraordinary today and make a Platelet Donation!

Make a Platelet (Apheresis) Donation!

Platelet Donations

A platelet donor is an extraordinary person. Platelet donors are called upon to make a special kind of donation to give select components - platelets, red blood cells, plasma. Apheresis donations are an essential part of treatment for patients with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions. By becoming a platelet donor, you can make a huge contribution to these critically-ill patients with special transfusion needs. Do something EXTRAORDINARY and DONATE today!

What is apheresis?
Apheresis is the process of separating blood into its different components: Platelets, Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and Plasma. Platelet donations allow us to collect what our patients need and return the rest of the blood to the donor.

PLATELETS are essential for blood clotting. Platelet transfusions are routinely needed to support patients undergoing cancer therapy, open-heart surgery, organ transplantation, and for patients with bleeding disorders. Platelets have a very short shelf-life and must be transfused within five days of collection. This requires constant replenishment of the hospital supply. Platelet donations can be made up to 24 times per year.

Repeat Donor
UCLA employee Aaron Giacosa has donated over 10 gallons at the Blood & Platelet Center!

RED BLOOD CELLS (RBCs) carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Red cell transfusions are most needed after significant blood loss due to trauma, surgery, or to treat anemia. A single red blood cell donation can be made every 8 weeks; a double RBC donation, collected by apheresis, can be made every 16 weeks. Eligibility for a double red cell donation has special requirements, including higher hemoglobin levels. Type O donors are in high demand because they are “universal” red cell donors. Their RBCs can be used for transfusion for patients with any blood type.

PLASMA is the liquid portion of the blood containing critical clotting factors. Plasma is used to treat patients with coagulation factor deficiencies, such as patients with liver failure, and those patients with certain bleeding disorders. Plasma donations can be made every 4 weeks. Type AB donors are in high demand because they are “universal” plasma donors. Their plasma can be used to treat all patients.

What are the benefits of a Platelet versus a Whole Blood Donation?

  • Platelet donors can help more patients by donating more units during each donation.
  • Apheresis collections are optimized based on donor/patient blood types, the donor's ability and desire to donate, and the patients' transfusion needs.
  • Only the blood components needed are collected for our patients; the other components are returned to the donor.

Making a Platelet Donation is SAFE and Easy.
Donor safety is our top priority - automated blood collections are very safe. During the donation, blood is drawn from one arm using a sterile needle and channeled through single-use tubing into a single-use sterile collection kit within the apheresis machine. The machine spins the blood to separate it, collects the most needed components and safely returns the remaining blood through the same sterile needle used for collection.

To assure that only a safe amount of blood is taken, the collection process is customized based on the donor's physical size and donation frequency, as well as multiple other factors.

To ensure that our donors are comfortable and enjoy their donation experience we use a state-of-the-art donor chair. It provides donors with the opportunity to relax, while donating lifesaving blood components for others.

How will my blood and platelet donation help UCLA patients?

Platelet Donations

A Cancer Patient can require up to 2 units of platelets per week.

An Automobile Accident Victim can use up to:

  • 50 units of red blood cells
  • 2 units of platelets
  • 10 units of plasma

A Liver Transplant Recipient uses on average:

  • 25 units of red blood cells
  • 5 units of platelets
  • 40 units of plasma

A Stem Cell Transplant Recipient can use up to:

  • 10 units of red blood cells
  • 10 units of platelets with ongoing outpatient transfusion needs

A Heart Surgery Patient uses on average:

  • 7 units of red blood cells
  • 2 units of platelets
  • 4 units of plasma

Will you do something Extraordinary today and help the patients at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with a platelet donation? Please call us at 310.825.0888 ext 2 to make that life-giving appointment.

Who can make a Platelet Donation?
To determine eligibility, please click here