Platelets are small blood components that help the clotting process by sticking to the lining of blood vessels. Platelets are made in the bone marrow and survive in the circulatory system

Platelets help with clotting

Platelets are prepared by using a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the donated unit of whole blood.

Platelets may also be obtained from a donor by a process known as apheresis, or plateletpheresis. In this process, blood is drawn from the donor into an apheresis instrument which separates the blood into its components, retains some of the platelets, and returns the remainder of the blood to the donor.

This single donor platelet product contains about four to six times as many platelets as a unit of platelets obtained from whole blood. Platelets are used to treat a condition called thrombocytopenia, in which there is a shortage of platelets, and they are also used to treat platelet function abnormalities. Platelets are stored at room temperature with constant agitation for 5 days.

See Summary of Transfusable Blood Components »