When donating whole blood, a needle will be placed in your arm to remove approximately one pint of your blood. The blood will flow through the tubing attached to the needle into a collection system. The process will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Your body will replace the liquid part of your blood (called plasma) in just a few hours, and the blood cells will be replaced within a few weeks. Whole blood donors can donate every 56 days.
Platelet Apheresis is the process of collecting platelets from a donor. Using a system the platelets are collected, and the plasma and red blood cells are returned to the donor. Platelets help save lives every day by helping control bleeding. They are necessary for patients undergoing treatment for cancer, open-heart surgery, and traumatic injuries. Plus, platelets are also needed for organ and bone marrow transplants. The actual platelet donation time takes between 1 to 1.5 hours.
The Blood Connection collection process uses a system called TRIMA® to collect platelets, red cells and/or plasma all during one visit. The Blood Connection was the first blood center in South Carolina to use this leading edge equipment. Blood is drawn from the arm and channeled through continuous, sterile, single-use tubing to an automated system. TRIMA separates and collects the needed component(s) and then safely returns the remaining components to the donor.
Just as in whole blood donation, a needle is inserted in a donor’s arm. Blood is drawn or collected through closed sterile tubing that passes through a centrifuge, which separates plasma from the whole blood. The plasma is collected in a sterile collection bag and almost all red cells and platelets are returned to the donor via the same needle. New sterile tubing and collection bags are used for each donor. You are never exposed to the blood of any other donor. The process will take approximately 45 minutes. You can safely donate plasma every 28 days.