Some donors are able to make a special kind of blood donation called apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis). Blood collected in a regular donation is separated into its components and used for several recipients. One of those components is platelets, needed by many cancer and heart surgery patients. It takes six regular blood donations to accumulate enough platelets for one patient dose. But apheresis can collect enough platelets from one donor to make an entire platelet dose.
When blood is collected in apheresis, a machine removes only the platelets and returns the rest to the donor. For the donor it works very much like a regular donation except it takes a little longer - one to one and a half hours. To find out if you would make a good apheresis donor, make a regular blood donation at St. Mary's Regional Blood Center. We'll check your platelet count and see if you're an apheresis donor candidate.