Donating Platelets

Platelet donors are urgently needed.

Like red cells, a platelet donation is an automated procedure in which a machine collects platelets while returning the red cells and most of the plasma back to the donor.

Depending on your blood type and the current needs of patients, you may be asked to make a platelet donation. All donors with A and AB blood types should consider making a platelet donation. Individuals who meet the requirements to donate whole blood can usually donate platelets, but in order to ensure safety, we must verify the platelet count of the donor.

Individuals making a platelet donation should expect a 90 to 120 minute appointment. They will be eligible to donate again in 14 days. In fact, platelet donors can donate up to 24 times a year!

Hoxworth needs 50 platelet donors each day to meet the needs of our area hospitals.

A bag of Type A platelets sitting on a rack in the Hoxworth labs

Platelets are very fragile, short-lived blood cells that are essential for normal blood clotting. They must be transfused within five days of donation. It's necessary to consistently provide hospitals with a fresh supply of platelets. This is why we need a steady, daily stream of willing platelet donors.

Platelet donations are performed by appointment only. To make an appointment to donate platelets at one of our Neighborhood Donor Centers, or for more information, please call our Appointment Center at (513) 451-0910.

Why the need?

Platelet transfusions (necessary for clotting) are an element of cancer and organ transplant treatments, and demand is growing. Many surgical procedures depend on platelets as they help prevent massive blood loss.

HLA and Platelets

While we always need more platelet donors, some individuals will need to be HLA-typed before they can give platelets. HLA, or Human Leukocyte Antigen, develops as a result of an individual being exposed to fetal blood in the body. While the presence of the HLA antibody is of no medical significance to a person's health, it cause an adverse reaction in certain patients receiving blood. This reaction is known as TRALI (transfusion-related acute lung injury).

Individuals who have previously been pregnant are more likely to have HLA in their blood, but being female is not an automatic disqualification for donating platelets.  The HLA typing is done at the time of donation (Test 19).  If the indivdual has a positve test result, they will be only able to donate whole blood or red cells in the future.