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For Your Safety and Ours

We ask all visitors to wear masks. Have COVID-19 or symptoms? Please call first.

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12104COVID Safety 735

Donating Blood Platelets

Temporarily Closed as of 1/11/2021

Thank you for contacting the Baystate Health Blood Donor Program.

Effective January 11, 2021, the Blood Donor Program will be temporarily suspending all blood and platelet collections as we redeploy our phlebotomists to support patient care.

If you have an upcoming appointment, we will be reaching out to cancel it. At this time we will not be rescheduling your appointment.

If you would like to be added to our call list for when we are able to re-open, please call 413-794-4600 and leave your name and phone number. We will contact you as soon as we are able to resume collections.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

COVID-19 Update

Until further notice during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baystate Health is relocating all blood and platelet donations to 361 Whitney Ave. in Holyoke on the 2nd floor. Donations are by appointment only. Please call us at (413)794-4600 to make an appointment.Donors should follow signs to the Education Center.

Additional protocols are being implemented during the coronavirus pandemic for the safety and health of donors, including:

  • Prescreening donors
  • Extra precautionary cleaning
  • Spacing out donors to comply with social distancing and group gathering restrictions.

Per the FDA, donors should refrain from blood donation if in the past 14 days they have:

Please contact the Baystate Health Blood Donor Center at 413-794-4600 with questions, to make an appointment, or notify us if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 after your donation.

Make an Appointment


Making a difference

Just like blood donations, platelet donations are very important.

Platelet transfusions are often needed for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Because chemotherapy prevents the body from producing new blood cells to replace those that expire naturally, it is not unusual for such individuals to require dozens of platelet transfusions and other blood products are part of their treatment. Platelets can also be needed during surgery and in trauma care to help prevent or stop bleeding.

Platelet donation uses smaller needles than a traditional whole blood donation. The platelet apheresis machine draws blood from one arm through sterile tubing into another machine, which separates the red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. The special tubing ensures your blood never comes in contact with the machine. Only the platelets are collected and the rest of your blood is returned to you along with some anticoagulant, which prevents blood clots. The amount of anticoagulant returned is not harmful to you.

Donors are able to give platelets every two weeks. Please do not take aspirin or ibuprofen 48 hours before your donation, eat a meal prior to donating and arrive well hydrated.

Who can donate?

In order to donate platelets you must:

  • be 17 years of ager or order.
  • weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • be in general good health (no cold, active allergies, or sore throat).
  • bring a valid photo I.D. (Driver’s license or school I.D. is accepted).
  • bring your reading glasses the day of the blood drive (if needed).
  • know the date and place of travel outside the United States in the past three years.
  • know the medical conditions you have, and the medications you are taking.
  • have previously requested Baystate Health to collected a “platelet count” during a prior whole blood donation.

You can still donate platelets if you:

  • have had the flu shot or flu mist.
  • take blood pressure or cholesterol medication.
  • are diabetic (your glucose levels must be under control and you haven’t taken bovine insulin in the past).

Who cannot donate?

There are many disqualifiers for donating platelets. These precautions exist to protect both you as the donor, as well as the person who may receive your platelets.

Because of this, you may not donate if you:

  • have had a tattoo or body piercing within the last 12 months.
  • have had a dental cleaning in the past 24 hours.
  • are not feeling in good health on the day of your donation.

You cannot donate if you are affected by these health conditions:

  • Cancer: With the exception of certain types of skin cancer, anyone with a history of cancer is not eligible to donate blood. A history of dysplasia (abnormal development of cells) of the uterine cervix is acceptable.
  • Surgery: For most types of surgery, healing must be complete and normal activity resumed.
  • Pregnancy: Anyone who is pregnant or who has been pregnant within the past six weeks is not eligible to donate. Healing must be complete and regular activity resumed following Cesarean delivery.
  • Hepatitis: Anyone who has had viral hepatitis cannot donate platelets.

Pre-Donation Questionnaire

Each time you donate blood or platelets, you must complete a pre-donation questionnaire. This is required by the FDA and helps us ensure that you are safe to donate.

Donors may complete their questionnaire on their smart phone or computer prior to visiting the donor center or the bloodmobile. However, it is extremely important to note that the questionnaire must be completed on the same day that the donor intends to donate. Questionnaires that are completed any day prior to the date of the donation will not be accepted.

Access the pre-donation questionnaire.

The Donation Process

From start to finish, donating platelets takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Pre-Donation: 10 – 20 minutes

  • Provide a valid photo ID.
  • Complete a private, confidential interview that asks detailed questions about your health, travel, medications, risk factors, etc.
  • We will check your temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and perform a quick finger-stick blood test to determine your hemoglobin (iron) level.

Donation: 60 – 90 minutes

  • Our skilled and experienced staff will get you set up on the apheresis machine. All supplies are new and used only once!
  • We have a selection of DVDs available so that you may enjoy a movie while you donate.

Post Donation: 5 – 10 minutes

  • Rest and enjoy refreshments to replenish your fluids.
  • Select your thank you gift.
  • Schedule your next appointment to donate platelets.

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