Why are platelet donations important?

Be A Platelet Hero WEB BANNER 1200Px

Platelets are essential not only for trauma victims, but also for those battling cancer or undergoing major surgery. They make up a tiny fraction of your blood and have a shelf life of five days, the shortest time of all the blood components.

There always is a need for platelet donations, and it is vital that we have them on our shelves at all times. For example, in the aftermath of the Santa Fe tragedy, hospitals asked for us to provide platelets. We could not have done so were they not already on our shelves.

Why are platelets important?

Platelets, which make up a tiny fraction of your blood, help control bleeding and help heal wounds by forming clots.

What is a “normal” platelet count?

Normal platelet counts range from 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood. Depending on your count, you could donate enough platelets to help one, two or even three patients in one sitting.

How does donating platelets alone compare with donating whole blood?

An automated platelet donation is equal to the platelets derived from six whole blood donations.

Who is eligible? 

What is the process like?

Platelets are donated through an automated process. It’s also called apheresis (but we won’t make you pronounce it). This process can take up to two hours, but our phlebotomists make sure you’re nice and comfortable (they have blankets if you get chilly) before you are hooked up to a Trima machine. These machines separate your platelets from the other blood components, returning the plasma and red blood cells, along with fluid to keep you hydrated.

How often can you donate platelets?

You may donate every seven days, up to 24 times per year.

Where can you donate?

You can donate platelets at any of The Blood Center’s Neighborhood Donation Centers.

What can you do during the process?

Load a good book onto your Kindle, enjoy something on the television we’ll provide you, study for class, keep up with social media on your phone or catch up on your favorite show on your iPad.

Ready? Schedule your Platelet donation today! 

Blood Center News
Have you given a Holiday Hug?

One of the best parts of the Holiday Hugs tradition is reading the notes our donors write for patients in the hospital over the holidays. It’s not an easy task as each patient has his or her own individual circumstance, so we’re restricted in which cards we tie to each bear. Still, many of our donors are well up to the task.

Every day, someone’s life is being saved.

By Tammie Riley 

I learned something the other day. Every day, someone’s life is being saved. I know that seems obvious, but let that sink in. What may be a normal Thursday for most could be something completely different for someone else. And that’s exactly what happened to donor Gary Gilson. Aug. 16 was one of the most important moments in Gary’s life. Not only did he save lives that day, but someone else saved the life of his loved one, as well.

Hospital tour highlights need

A 3-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed in the middle of the room with monitors attached to her bare chest. She’s awake, but she doesn’t lift her head as we walk into the room. Still, she follows us with her eyes. The only sound we hear from her is a small cough while a nurse comes in to check her stats.


The Blood Center teams up with Sickle Cell Association of Houston

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center partnered with the Sickle Cell Association of Houston to host a blood drive Sept. 15 in recognition of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.

Blood transfusion is one treatment used to combat complications from sickle cell disease, a form of anemia most likely to affect people of African descent. Prince and her now 27-year-old daughter, Quannecia McCruse, founded the Sickle Cell Association of Houston years ago to educate and provide resources to the community.


Drive and save lives

Penny, a local teacher with some free time over the summer, has helped us kick off our new Volunteer Driver program. Are you interested in joining us in our mission to save lives? Call us at (713) 791-6262 or email volunteering@giveblood.org.

Overcoming fear: Donating blood for the first time

I’m a scaredy-cat. I readily admit it. I hate needles. That’s always been my excuse for why I don’t volunteer for anything with a needle. Flu shot? No way. Vaccines? I still remember the sheer terror I felt from them growing up. 

We are always #HoustonStrong

We never know when the next tragedy will strike, but we have to be ready when it does come. 

Meet Eden

CYPRESS – There is nothing more American than baseball and saving lives. Everyone who participates in The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Home Run for Life competition will get a chance at both through June 30.


SuperMax is the hero Houston needs!

Max was born with a genetic disorder (neurofibromatosis type 1) that can cause tumors to grow on his nerve endings, and SuperMax has been his alter ego ever since. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center mourns Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush helped save lives in our community, and we celebrate her lifetime of accomplishments. The former First Lady set the bar high in her commitment to helping others.


Dr. Charles Drew: A Blood Banking Pioneer

Here at The Blood Center, we pride ourselves on being an organization of diversity. We work together to save and sustain lives, and we each bring a unique perspective when it comes to fulfilling our mission.

Tying the knot and saving lives

Hurricane Harvey destroyed homes, cars and many other things, but one thing it couldn’t destroy is the compassion for others in newlywed couple Gilbert and Stefanie Cruz. Gilbert and Stefanie were set to get married just a few days after Harvey passed, but due the storm’s aftermath they had to alter all of their plans on a moment’s notice.


Blood on ambulances helps EMS agencies save more lives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has partnered with two local agencies providing emergency medical services to help save more lives when time is of the essence, now administering whole blood to patients on the ground.

Donor coaches hit the road sporting new look, features

In the last two years, five of The Blood Center's donor coaches have been refurbished. Find out why this is such an important process.

Circle of Life Bike Tour celebrates life

The Lone Star Circle of Life bike tour visits Texas cities to raise awareness of the need for blood, marrow, organ and tissue donations to honor those impacted by these donation types. This year’s eight-day, 600-mile tour included stops in Houston and College Station.

Blood Center Resources

Our mission is to partner with the community to save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
1400 La Concha Lane
Houston, TX 77054

© Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center - Houston, Texas. All rights reserved. Powered by ContentActive