The supply of platelets for local patients is dangerously low. Patients across South Texas require lifesaving platelet transfusions every day. We’re asking for your help to ensure they get the help they’re counting on.
Platelets are one of the major components of your blood. They are small cell fragments in our blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding.
Platelets hold a unique power to save lives. They are essential to surviving and fighting cancer, chronic diseases, and traumatic injuries.
People who are undergoing cancer treatments need platelets, because the treatments can reduce the number of platelets their bodies produce. People who have traumatic injuries need platelets beyond what their bodies can produce. And people who are receiving transplants often need them as well.
Thank you for stepping up to care for our community. All presenting platelet donors at any of our donation locations will score:
Donors in good general health are encouraged to try platelet donation.
Platelets are needed in all blood type except type O negative and type B negative in which whole blood donations makes the most impact.
Donors should be at least 16 years old, weigh 120 pounds and present a signed parental consent form or be 17 years old or older, and weigh at least 110 pounds.
Female donors who have been previously pregnant will be tested for specific antibodies.
You can donate platelets every 7 to 10 days, up to 24 times a year.
There are two typical ways to collect platelets.
The most effective way to collect platelets is through a process called apheresis. Your blood goes through a machine that separates the platelets and returns the rest of the components to your body. Apheresis allows us to collect specific components of your blood at a larger volume. This produces one to three units large enough to affect an adult patient’s platelet count.
The platelets can also be collected through whole blood donations; however, six to eight whole blood donations are needed to equal one donation through apheresis. When you donate whole blood, a system separates the platelets from the red blood cells and the plasma.
An average donation takes about two hours.
Prepare for your platelet donations as you would for your whole blood donation.
You receive a mini-physical (pulse, temperature and iron check), earn donor points and redeem them for a FREE gift card of your choice on our rewards store and the satisfaction that comes from saving lives.
The FDA requires that all blood centers ask about your medical history every time you donate to ensure the safety of the blood supply. You have to wait a certain amount of time between donations. A lot can happen in that time. The questions serve as a layer of protection for patients who receive blood.
Platelets can be stored for only five days.
Platelets are used for many different patients including: cancer patients, open-heart surgery patients, diabetics, recipients of organ or tissue transplants, trauma victims and more.
Since fluids and red blood cells are returned to your body after donating platelets, some donors say they feel less sluggish afterwards.
Yes. All supplies used to collect platelets are new, completely sterile and used only once. There is no risk of disease transmission to a donor.
Comfort levels vary from person to person but most first-time donors wonder why they waited so long! You will feel a slight pinch and it’s all over before you know it!
For your safety, we have implemented several safety protocols at every blood drive and donor room. For more information about our protocols on coronavirus, visit: SouthTexasBlood.org/Coronavirus
Not sure if you’re eligible to donate or want to learn more about the donation process?
Find more donation locations near you.
Inspired to do more? Host a blood drive at school, work or in your community.
For more than 45 years, the nonprofit South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has focused on a critical purpose: to save and improve lives.
Inspired by a group of physicians, our organization was formed to provide blood to the South Texas region – ensuring a safe and adequate blood supply through proper testing, storage and distribution to hospitals. This essential service allows front-line workers to focus on the direct care of patients, with confidence that this lifesaving resource will be there when it’s needed most.
But we didn’t stop there. Over the years, we’ve evolved as the needs of our patients and hospitals have changed, driven to save lives in as many ways as possible.
We couldn’t do this without donors like you. We understand that the gift of donation is a personal, powerful choice that has the potential to touch a life. Today, we offer many ways to make a difference that include:
Our team has also expanded its programs, partnering with leaders within the healthcare industry to develop a wide range of therapies.