Blood Donor Center

Did you know that many people undergoing chemotherapy receive platelet transfusions?

Platelet Donation

Platelet Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows whole blood to be withdrawn from a donor and separated into its component parts (red cells, platelets, and plasma) with all but the platelets being returned to the donor. The platelets are then made available to patients and transfused within five days.

Your body is able to replenish its supply of platelets very quickly, allowing you to donate platelets are frequently as every 7 days, but no more than 24 times a year.

What are Platelets?

Platelets are parts of blood that help prevent bleeding by allowing clots to form and wounds to heal. Patients need platelets for many different procedures, including heart surgery, burn treatments, bone marrow transplants, organ transplant surgeries, cancer, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, and other serious illnesses.

A world renowned facility, MGH constantly increases its practices in cancer treatment and transplant surgery. As these two fields grow, the need for lifesaving platelet donations also increases.

Please allow two hours for the entire process, and expect your donation to take 90 to 100 minutes. During the process, platelet donors often watch TV, a DVD movie, surf the internet, play games and listen to music. Donors can also enjoy relaxing or reading a book.

Platelet Donations are taken only on the MGH Campus, at the MGH Blood Donor Center on Jackson 1. Platelet donors have extra eligibility guidelines.

If possible, platelet donors should make an appointment prior to coming in to donate platelets. For more information, or to make an appointment please call MGH Marketing Specialist Mary Kate Callaway at 617-726-8171. 

The MGH Blood Donor Center is also open for platelet donation one Saturday a month. For more information about our Saturday platelet donation schedule, please contact  Mary Kate Callaway.

2015 Platelet Saturday Schedule

  • January 24
  • February 14
  • March 21
  • April 25
  • May 16
  • June 13
  • July 18
  • August 15
  • September 19
  • October 17
  • November 7
  • December 19

On Platelet Saturdays we have appointments available from 7:30am - 12:20pm. Appointments are required for platelet Saturdays. Please contact us at (617)726-8171 or for more information or to schedule an appointment.