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Off to donate platelets again this afternoon.

Giving blood etc is a simple task, it doesn't really hurt and it does give you a reason to feel good about yourself. If you have never tried to give, please give it some consideration if you can.

Platelets takes a bit longer...

The Platelet Donation Process

A cuff is placed around your arm, the skin cleaned, local anaesthetic may be injected and the donation needle inserted. Depending on the type of machine used a needle may be put in both arms. Blood samples are taken at this stage for testing in the same way as whole blood donations. Additional tests carried out for platelet donors are to check your general state of health, in particular, to check your platelet count and to determine your tissue type (so that your platelets can be matched to those of a particular patient if needed).

During the procedure, blood is withdrawn, mixed with anticoagulant to prevent clotting and processed by spinning to separate the platelets. The rest of the blood is returned to you, which is why it is safe for you to donate at a much higher frequency than whole blood (as often as every 2 weeks!).

During the procedure, any white cells that remain in your platelet donation are also removed as these could cause problems in a patient despite being harmless to you.

All the tubing that blood comes into contact with is sterile and disposable. There is, therefore, no risk of ‘catching’ any infection. Also, during the return of your blood, air detectors ensure that none of the sterile air present in the collection gets passed into your vein. If a detector identifies air, the machine will automatically shut down and can only be restarted when the air has been removed.

While you are donating you will be monitored and cared for by qualified staff supervised by nurses. You can read, chat to the staff or relax and you will be offered refreshments. When the procedure is completed the needle(s) will be removed and a dressing applied to the venepuncture site(s).

Following the donation, which should take approximately 90 minutes, you will be able to take a well earned break in our rest area and enjoy some more refreshment if you wish

It used to be out one arm, in the other, so you were completely out of action. Now you have a hand free for scratching, tea drinking and adjusting the settings on your PSP. I have a UMD of The Mighty Boosh to watch later...I'm looking forward to it!

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