Sometimes, patients need only a specific part of a donor's blood. To help these people, donations of individual blood components such as platelets or plasma are sometimes required. Such donations are known as apheresis donations.
The extraction of only platelets from a donor's blood is known as plateletpheresis, while plasmapheresis refers to the extraction of a donor's plasma.
The Advantages of Apheresis
You can make an apheresis donation every month, up to 12 times a year.
With regular apheresis donations, you can help ensure a stable supply of blood products for patients when they need it.
Additionally, apheresis allows a much larger number of platelets to be collected from a single donor than is possible through whole blood donation. Platelets collected through apheresis are also more effective in stopping bleeding and minimise a patient's exposure to multiple donors' blood.
The Apheresis Experience
During apheresis, machines called blood cell separators are used to draw blood from you. After the plasma, platelets or red cells in the blood have been extracted, the remaining blood will be returned to you. You might feel a slight tingling sensation or get a little cold during the procedure.
Diet has a strong influence on the condition of one's blood plasma which you may want to find out more about.
How Long It Takes
Donating your platelets takes about 60-90 minutes, while plasma donations can be completed in 45 minutes.
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