|Other Ways to Give|
Giving Platelets or Plasma
While all blood donations are vital, pheresis is a specific kind of donation using updated medical technology to collect platelets or plasma from a donor. The remaining blood components, including the red cells, are returned to the donor.
A Single Donor Rather Than Several
A platelet transfusion for one patient requires platelets separated from six to eight regular whole blood donations. In pheresis, a single donor can give the quantity of platelets needed for a transfusion. For a patient needing many units of platelets, this means exposure to fewer donors. Additionally, pheresis donations receive a more specific blood typing called HLA typing, so donors and patients can be matched more closely, with a goal of providing better results for the recipient.
Patients' Special Transfusion Needs
Patients benefitting the most from pheresis transfusions are those with blood diseases and those being treated for cancer. In the case of cancer patients, platelets are destroyed not only by the disease, but often by the treatment. Patients being prepared for a bone marrow transplant also need many transfusions of platelets, both before and after the transplant.
Give Every Two Weeks
Pheresis donors can give platelets every two weeks, plasma every 28 days, as opposed to eight weeks for a whole blood donation. Pheresis donation is by appointment only at donor centers throughout the New England Region. The entire process takes about two hours, including registration, medical history and post-donation refreshments, but many of our pheresis donors come in on a regular basis. Perhaps it's the TLC provided by the nursing staff who come to know them so well. Perhaps it's the movies shown in the donor room or the comraderie between donors as they see each other every couple of weeks. Most likely, it's the feeling of really making a difference in someone's life. With some careful coordination, it is possible to "mix and match" whole blood, platelet and double red cell donations. Please contact your local donor center for more information.
Inquire About Joining the Pheresis Program
We invite you to become a part of the pheresis program. Type A donors are especially valuable since they are the "Universal Donor" for platelets. AB donors are universal donors for plasma. If you are a regular blood donor, call your local blood center and ask to speak with someone in the Pheresis Department. They'll welcome your questions, and will make an appointment for you to join this dynamic team of donors.
Apheresis Information | Apheresis Donor Centers | Printer Friendly Brochure