The whole process takes about an hour and the actual donation about 10 to 15 minutes. When you arrive you will be given a list of questions (or a computer to answer the questions). After you have answered the questions you will be confidently screened by a blood bank employee. At this time you will receive a mini physical where your blood pressure and temperature will be checked. A finger stick will be taken and a drop of blood collected to get an indication of your iron level.
Once you have completed this step you will be escorted to the donation bed. The phlebotomist will check the donation site on your arm, and prepare it for your donation. At the completion of your donation you will be escorted to the refreshment area and be given refreshments to replace liquids.
When you donate your blood it is tested and you will be notified if there is a problem.
You are eligible to donate blood every 56 days.
Your donation can help three patients.
The procedure to donate platelets is the same as donating blood up to the point of your donation. After your screening you will be escorted to the platelet donation site.
The phlebotomist will check the donation site on your arm, and prepare it for your donation.
You will be connected to a machine that will separate your platelets from your blood. Once the platelets are separated your remaining blood will be returned to you. This process will be repeated until a unit of platelets is collected. A unit of platelets consists of about two or three tablespoons of fluid.
Your donation may take hour or two hours depending on your platelet count.
Your body will replace your donated platelets between two and three days.
A platelet donor can donate up to twenty-four times a year, once every other week would be fantastic.