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Platelets are useful for patients who have had a transplant, are affected by cancer or blood diseases such as leukaemia. They are often transfused after a session of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

What are platelets?

The “thrombocyte” platelets are produced in the bone marrow. They play a crucial role in preventing and stopping bleeds. They agglutinate, form a clot and enable haemorrhages to be stopped.

Why donate platelets?

The platelets are obtained from a whole blood donation or by cytapheresis. The benefit of cytapheresis is that it enables to collect, in a single donation, as many platelets as 5 to 10 blood donations.
Once collected, the platelets are kept at a temperature of 20-24°C, whilst being constantly stirred. They will keep for 5 days, which makes it impossible to build big stocks. So it is vital to perform sufficient collections on a day-to-day basis to be able to treat patients and to meet the needs of hospitals.

Who are platelets used for?


Platelet transfusions are vital for patients who have had a transplant.


Chemotherapy treatments are very taxing on the human body. They destroy the cancer cells whilst simultaneously temporarily destroying the bone marrow cells. As a result, the body is no longer able to replenish the blood cells on its own. To mitigate these toxic effects, platelets and red blood cell transfusions are used to rebuild the cells comming from the bone marrow.


These disorders affect the bone marrow and the production of the blood cells. Patients suffering from these disorders require frequent transfusions and large amounts of red blood cells, platelets or plasma, depending on their individual situation.


Did you know that these people in some cases also need haematopoietic stem cell donations?

How does a platelet donation work?

Principle: the blood collected from the donor is continuously run through an apheresis machine or a blood cell separator which retains the platelets and some plasma whilst the other blood components are returned to the donor. By doing so, a larger number of platelets can be collected.


You should reckon with approximately 2 hours including the medical interview and the refreshment and the rest after your donation.


You may donate your platelets once a month. A 2-week wait is an exception. The maximum number of platelet donations (including blood donations) is 24 per year (365 days).


This technique requires the use of specific equipment. Which is why it is performed only by appointment at one of our permanent blood collection centres.

Donating is a responsible, voluntary and charitable gesture that goes unpaid.

ARE YOU considering donating PLATELETS?

Read up on the conditions and the contraindications to find out if you qualify!

The conditions for platelet donations


Do you have questions regarding platelet donations?

Consult our FAQ

Are you looking to donate platelets ? Do you have questions?


Find a platelets collection centre near you.


Contact us at 0800 92 245 or send us a mail at info@croix-rouge.be.


You can also consult our  « Donor guide » and « Platelets and plasma donations (French) » brochures;


Give it a go in a safe and friendly environment that puts people first!