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Give Blood
Am I eligible to donate blood?
What should I expect at a blood drive?
Where can I donate?
New Appointment System
What are Double Red donations?
What is Apheresis?
How often can I donate?
What is the best donation procedure for me?

What is Apheresis?

Giving Platelets or Plasma

Apheresis is a specific kind of donation using updated medical technology to collect platelets or plasma from a donor. The remaining blood components, including the red cells, are returned to the donor.

Why Should I Donate Blood this Way?

Benefits for Donors

Apheresis donors can give the gift of life more often. Platelets can be donated every two weeks and plasma every 28 days, as opposed to eight weeks for a whole blood donation. Whole blood donors who might choose to also make Apheresis donations can give platelets three days after making a whole blood donation.

Apheresis donation is by appointment only the Connecticut Blood Center in Farmington. The entire process takes about two hours, including registration, medical history and post-donation refreshments, but many of our Apheresis donors come in on a regular basis. Perhaps it's the TLC provided by the nursing staff who come to know them so well. Perhaps it's the movies shown in the donor room or the camaraderie between donors as they see each other every couple of weeks. Most likely, it's the feeling of really making a difference in someone's life.

Benefits for Patients

A platelet transfusion for one patient requires platelets separated from six to eight regular whole blood donations. In Apheresis, a single donor can give the quantity of platelets needed for a transfusion. For a patient needing many units of platelets, this means exposure to fewer donors. Additionally, Apheresis donations receive a more specific blood typing called HLA typing, so donors and patients can be matched more closely, with a goal of providing better results for the recipient.

Patients’ Special Transfusion Needs

Patients benefiting the most from Apheresis transfusions are those with blood diseases and those being treated for cancer. In the case of cancer patients, platelets are destroyed not only by the disease, but often by the treatment. Patients being prepared for a bone marrow transplant also need many transfusions of platelets, both before and after the transplant.

Inquire About Joining the Apheresis Program

We invite you to become a part of the Apheresis program. Type AB donors are especially valuable since they are the "Universal Donor" for plasma. If you are a regular blood donor, call 860-678-2749 and ask to speak with someone in the Apheresis department. They’ll welcome your questions, and will make an appointment for you to join this dynamic team of donors.

© 2006. American Red Cross. Connecticut Blood Services Center.