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How is platelet donation done. Is this safe and successful?

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 576 Questions
Dear Doctor, had a general question wrt "platelets" donation. A colleague recently approached me about an ex-colleague of his, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for blood cancer, and is in need of a blood transfusion.

While I have heard and made blood donation in the past, I have never heard about "platelets" donation. I am open to donating platelets, my blood group is O+. Wanted to understand how the entire process works, whether and how appropriate checks are carried out to ensure safety of the donor's health, fitment, approximate time in the process, any risks or specific aspects to be borne in mind by the donor, re-instatement time to the donor, etc.
Posted Tue, 19 Mar 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 10 minutes later
Dear Sir,

I am glad that you are considering donating platelets for your colleague. There are two methods of donating platelets. One is by donating blood (which you have done in the past) and the doctors separate out the platelets from there. But I guess the platelet donation they are talking about in this case is known as platelet apheresis. In this they take blood from your body and a machine separates the platelets and returns the rest of the blood back to your body.
This procedure is very safe but the only drawback is that it takes around 2 hours. Another advantage is that you dont loose blood from your body and you are fit to donate platelets again within a months time. Before the procedure they will carry out all checks to ensure your safety.

I hope I have answered your query. Please feel free to clarify any other point if you want.

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