All of our blood donors are amazing. Yet, because there are just 7,000 people in Australia who donate platelets, our platelet donors are a pretty special team. That’s why we call them Platelet Stars.
What are platelets?
Platelets are blood cells that wedge together and help blood to clot, preventing bleeding. They look like spiky plates—or, if you use a bit of imagination, tiny stars.
Why give platelets?
- Each platelet donation only lasts 5 days, so more are always needed, especially over the weekend when patient demand is high.
- They’re used to treat cancer patients, particularly those having chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants
- One patient can need up to 40 platelet transfusions
How does donating platelets work?
If you’ve given plasma before, you’ll find that giving platelets is very similar. Using a cell separating machine, we collect some of your blood, keep the platelets, and return the rest to you in a process called apheresis.
It takes about 45 minutes to donate the platelets and about 1.5 hours for the whole appointment.
How do I know if I can donate platelets?
You need to be 18-65 years old, weigh 50kg or more and have given a successful whole blood donation in the past two years. There are some other criteria, so call us on 13 14 95 to see if you could be a platelet star.
Can I go back to donating whole blood or plasma if I want?
Yes, at any time you can choose to donate whole blood or plasma.