Is platelet donation a safe procedure?
Yes, it is very safe. A full blood count is taken before each donation to ensure that you have enough platelets to donate. Your body replaces all of the platelets that you have given within a few days. It is impossible to catch any viral infection by donating platelets or blood. We use a new sterile disposable set for each donation.
How will I feel after my donation?
After the donation is completed you are asked to take a short rest and have something to eat or drink. You are then fit to resume normal activities.
How often can I give platelets?
As you keep your red cells during the donation process, it is possible to give platelets every 28 days. As the demand for platelets is constant we normally ask that you try to donate every four to six weeks.
Where can I donate platelets?
Platelet donations take place at the National Blood Centre, James’s Street, Dublin 8 and the Munster Regional Transfusion Centre, St. Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork.
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday from 8.00am – 6.00pm
Wednesday & Friday from 8.00am – 2.00pm
Monday & Wednesday from 9.00am – 3.30pm
Tuesday & Thursday from 1.30pm – 7.30pm
Can I continue to give blood?
Not everyone is suitable to be a platelet donor. So if you have attended for your assessment and you are suitable, we would ask that you just give platelets, for as long as this is possible for you. If you find that giving platelets is no longer possible for you, you may return to giving blood at any point.
Why can women who have had pregnancies not donate platelets?
During pregnancy small amounts of blood from the baby can cross over into the mother's blood stream. This is especially likely to happen during the delivery. When this happens the mother's immune system sometimes reacts to the baby's blood cells. As part of this, the mother may develop antibodies to some of those cells. If the mother is a platelet donor, or very rare occasions these antibodies can react with the blood cells of patients who receive her platelet donations. Those reactions can be life threatening so to avoid this risk, the IBTS no longer recruits women who have had a pregnancy of any gestation.
Why can people who have had a blood transfusion not donate platelets?
People who have received a blood transfusion in the past sometimes develop antibodies to the blood cells in the donor's blood. If the person who has received a blood transfusion is a platelet donor, the antibodies in their own blood can, in very rare circumstances, cause serious reactions in the person who receives their platelet transfusion. To avoid the risk of this rare event, the IBTS does not recruit as platelet donors people who have had a blood transfusion in the past.
How do I become a platelet donor?
In order to become a platelet donor you must first attend for an assessment interview. This simple process includes a blood sample to ensure your own platelet count is suitable for this type of donation. If you would like to schedule an assessment appointment just fill in our Online Application Form or call 01 432 2833 (Dublin) or 021 480 7429 (Cork) for more information.
I’d like to tell other people about platelet donation…
If you would like to help us build awareness of platelet donation, you can do so in the following ways.
- Display posters or leaflets
- Forward an information email to friends or colleagues
- Link to our webpage
- Invite us to give a presentation at your workplace, social club or support group
If you feel you can help out in any way, please contact Jo Lawlor on 01 432 2832.