In the donation of platelets, a machine is used to collect platelets only and return the red cells and the majority of plasma to your circulation.
Where can you donate platelets?
Platelets can be donated at the Kivihaka Blood Centre in Helsinki
Who can donate platelets?
The same basic requirements apply to the donation of platelets as to the donation of whole blood. Our staff selects suitable donors who are then invited to donate platelets personally. If you want to become a platelet donor you can ask us about it the next time you come to donate blood.
How often can you donate platelets?
The minimum interval between platelet donations is 14 days. The minimum interval between a platelet donation and whole blood donation (or a whole blood donation and platelet donation) is 30 days for men and 45 days for women. In other words, the maximum number of platelet donations per year is 25.
1. Before coming to donate
You need to book an appointment for the donation of platelets. Fill in the electronic health questionnaire. The health questionnaire and nurse's interview are designed to ensure the safety of both you and the blood recipient. Please be accurate and honest in your responses. If our staff have asked you to book an appointment via telephone, please call +358 29 300 1884.
Drink water or juice and eat something before coming to donate. You should avoid heavy meals, however. There is also something to drink and a light snack available at the donation centre.
2. Donation begins with registration
Please register at the reception where we will confirm your identity before each donation. You should therefore always bring your photo ID with you.
3. Coffee or juice
Have a cup of coffee or a glass of juice.
4. We will interview you and measure your blood haemoglobin concentration
Next, you will go through the questionnaire with a nurse. The conversation will be conducted between the two of you and all information shared will be confidential.
Before platelets are donated, the haemoglobin concentration and platelet count is measured from the donor's venous blood sample. Platelets can be donated if the donor's blood haemoglobin concentration is 125–175 g/l for women and 135–195 g/l for men. By checking the platelet count we ensure that the donor has enough platelets after the donation. If the platelet count is too low, donation is cancelled. The nurse will decide whether you are eligible to donate this time or not. In unclear cases, the Blood Service doctors will be consulted.
Before the donation, we will give you calcium tablets that prevent prickling and numbness of the skin during donation and muscle cramps (see below). We will also ask you your height and weight so we know to collect exactly the right amount of blood.
5. Donation takes approximately 1.5 hours
If all the requirements for donation are in order, you can lie down on a donation bed. Samples are also collected at the beginning of each donation and studied and tested for blood group and viruses. Approximately 200 millilitres of platelets are collected in one donation.
Due to the initial determination of the platelet count, donation of platelets takes approximately 1.5 hours. During this time you have a WiFi network available in addition to a good selection of magazines and newspapers. After the donation, the nurse will dress the puncture location firmly. You should stay lying down for a few minutes after the donation.
Donation of platelets should not be painful. Please tell the nurse if you feel unwell during the collection, or if the needle causes you discomfort. In apheresis donations, so-called transient citrate symptoms can sometimes appear (typically tingling in the face or limbs), and they are caused by the ACD-A solution used in the apheresis equipment. The main component of the solution, citrate, inhibits blood clotting inside the equipment. Part of the solution ends up in the donor's bloodstream. Ingredients of the solution are found in food, for example, and can be used safely. The nurse can regulate the collection to avoid excess accumulation of citrate in the donor’s body. The citrate solution is rapidly diluted and neutralized in the bloodstream. To prevent symptoms, donors are given calcium to chew. You may ask the nurse to discontinue the donation process at any time and you do not need to justify your request.
6. Enjoy a snack and take it easy for the rest of the day
We offer donors coffee and tea and a light snack so please sit down and enjoy the services in the cafeteria. This will help your body recover from the donation.
As long as you remember to drink more fluids than usual, the fluid you have lost during donation is replaced in approximately 24 hours. The platelets you have donated will be replaced within a few days. We recommend that you refrain from physical exercise, having a sauna and anything that causes extra perspiration on the day of donation so that the fluid volume is replaced as effectively as possible. Drinking enough liquid is particularly important in the summer.
Leave the dressing on your arm in place and avoid lifting heavy items for at least four hours to keep the vein from bleeding and causing a bruise.
If during the blood donation or at any time afterwards you realise you have forgotten to inform us of anything that might affect the safety of the blood you have donated, please contact the donation location immediately or call the free information number for donors on +358 800 0 5801.
Please call us if after donating blood:
- you develop a fever within a week of your donation
- you are diagnosed with a serious illness (e.g. cancer) within a month of donating blood
- you find out that you or your sex partner has been infected with a blood-borne disease (e.g. HIV or hepatitis B or C).
7. Please come back to donate!
Book your next donation appointment during your visit or by calling +358 29 300 1884. You can donate platelets again as soon as in 14 days. Thank you for your help!
Would you like further information regarding platelet donation? Please call us on +358 29 300 1884.