You are here

Platelet Donation

In addition to giving whole blood, you can save lives by donating blood platelets, the part of your blood that causes clotting.

How blood platelets are used

Platelets are often used in treatments for patients with cancer, leukemia, aplastic anemia and other diseases that suppress the body’s ability to produce platelets.

They can also be used in trauma cases and during surgeries.

10x the platelets of regular blood

One platelet donation contains eight to 10 times as many platelets as a regular blood donation, providing even more benefit to patients.

The need is ongoing

Once donated, platelets are only good to be transfused for five days, so there is an ongoing need for donors.

How do platelet donations work?

Since your body replaces platelets within 24 hours, you can donate every 72 hours, up to 24 times each year.

The process is simple.

A special machine draws whole blood from your arm, separates the platelets and returns the other components to your body.

During your donation, you can watch television or a movie, read a magazine or book, or just relax.

Before you give platelets, you will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire to help ensure that your donation will be safe for you and the recipient.

It’s quick.

The actual donation lasts about 90 minutes, and the entire process typically takes about two hours.

Since donating platelets takes a little longer than giving blood, we pre-schedule platelet donations for your convenience.

It’s safe.

Marsh Regional staff will test your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and red cell level before you donate.

Donors are carefully monitored by a specially trained technician.

When not to donate platelets

For your safety and the safety of platelet recipients, you should not donate platelets if any of the following applies if you:

  • Weigh less than 110 pounds
  • Are younger than 18 years of age
  • Have had a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters within three days of your donation
  • Took aspirin or any product containing aspirin within 72 hours of your donation time
  • Have taken a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) – ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin or Nuprin) or naproxen (Aleve), for example – within 24 hours of your donation time
  • Are currently taking an antibiotic for an infection or have taken an antibiotic within the past seven days
  • Didn’t eat a well-balanced and substantial meal within four to six hours of your donation
  • Are breastfeeding (The anticoagulant used in the procedure can cross over into the mother’s breast milk.)
  • Have a history of hepatitis, heart disease or most cancers within the last five years
  • Had a blood transfusion or accidental needle stick within the past 12 months
  • Got a tattoo from a state-licensed facility less than three months ago
  • Had major surgery in the past six months or a pregnancy within the past six weeks
  • Ever tested positive for HIV or had sex in the past 12 months with anyone who did
  • Ever used illegal IV drugs or had sex in the past 12 months with anyone who has
  • Received or gave money or drugs for sex since 1977
  • Are a male and have had sex with another male since 1977
  • Are female and have had sex in the past 12 months with a male who has had sex with another male since 1977

Schedule your donation today

If you’d like to become a platelet donor, have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (423) 408-7500.

As a token of our appreciation for your gift of life, you’ll receive complimentary refreshments and a free T-shirt or another item after your donation.


Platelet Donation Locations

111 West Stone Drive
Suite 300
Kingsport, TN 37660
(423) 408-7500
1996 W State Street
Bristol, TN 37620
(423) 652-0014
2428 Knob Creek Road
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 282-7090