Donating platelets

Platelets are the component of blood that helps with clotting. If an injury or blood loss occurs, platelets are released, and a person’s blood begins to clot to prevent excessive bleeding. In a healthy person, new platelets are continuously being produced and old platelets removed within the body. People who have low platelets or platelets that don't function properly (e.g. people receiving chemotherapy) need platelet transfusions as part of their treatment.

FAQs: Platelet donations 

For questions related to COVID-19, see our COVID-19 page for details.

Am I eligible to donate platelets?

Any healthy individual who meets our eligibility criteria can donate platelets. However, because of the specific requirements for donating platelets, pre-testing and assessment during a whole blood appointment is required before an individual becomes a plateletpheresis donor.

Donors can give platelets every two weeks. Ask us about donating platelets at your next whole blood donation or give us a call at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

How often can I donate platelets?

You can donate platelets as often as every 14 days. New platelet donors are encouraged to donate once a month.

Find a donor centre or location

How long does a platelet donation take?

Each plateletpheresis appointment takes approximately an hour and a half. The donation process is usually about 75 to 100 minutes for a double-unit or platelet-plasma combined donation and about 50 to 75 minutes for a single-unit donation.

Once I start donating platelets, can I still give blood?

Yes, although we recommend you choose just one type of donation to make regularly.

What if I change my mind about donating platelets?

You’re welcome to try different donation programs to see which you like best: whole blood, plasma or platelets. You can also consider joining the Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry.

What if I am not eligible to donate platelets?

Every donation is valuable and helps save lives. We appreciate your generosity and commitment, whatever you’re able to give.

Where can I donate platelets?

Platelet donations are by appointment only and cannot be booked online. If you are thinking of making your first platelet donation or want to book an appointment, call your local donor centre.

Find a donor centre or location

Can I donate apheresis plasma at the same time as platelets?

Yes. As with a whole blood donation, we insert a needle into your arm and draw blood from your body. But instead of going straight into a collection bag, the blood passes through a centrifuge that separates out your platelets and plasma. The rest of the blood flows back into your body through the same needle. In rare circumstances, it may not be possible to draw plasma at the same time as platelets.