Platelet Dontations

Thank you for your interest in donating platelets. The Central California Blood Center services 5 counties, over 20 hospitals, representing over 1.9 million people. The need for whole blood, platelets and plasma is ongoing and with the help of our generous community members like you, we can support those in need across the Central Valley. Together, Life Flows From Here.

Current and New Platelet Donors click below to start your donation Process!

What are platelets?

Platelets are tiny cells which circulate throughout the blood. They are essential in blood clotting and help stop bleeding. Platelets are primarily used by cancer patients but can also be used to help trauma victims or any patient facing life-threatening injuries where excessive bleeding occurs.

During the platelet donation process, an apheresis machine collects red blood cells, platelets, and plasma before returning your red blood cells and most of the plasma back to you. A single donation of platelets can produce several transfusable units and impact multiple patients’ lives. Whereas when you donate a pint of whole blood you are donating the sum of the whole, in apheresis platelet donation we are able to extract more platelets because we are in fact returning your red blood cell and plasma. The same is true in apheresis plasma donations where your red blood cells and platelets are returned to you.

Platelets only have a shelf life of 5 days – because of this, we must consistently and efficiently collect them. This is also why new donors are needed every day to help keep an adequate supply for local patients.

At this time, the Central California Blood Center can only collect platelets in one of our donor centers and not on any mobile drive.

Who it helps?

  • Platelets are an integral tool in cancer treatments and organ transplants, along with other surgical procedures.
  • Platelets give cancer patients the strength they need to continue the fight.
  • Platelets can help patients survive major surgeries or injuries.
  • Platelets can help patients with blood disorders or those undergoing transplants.

How long is the donation process?

About 2-2.5 hours

Preferred blood types?

A positive, B positive, AB positive and AB negative are ideal blood types for platelet or plasma donations.

Donation frequency?

Every 2 weeks, up to 24 times per year (for platelets).

Who is eligible to donate platelets?

Eligibility requirements for platelet donations are generally the same as those for whole blood donations.
If you meet the minimum requirements to donate whole blood, you should be eligible to donate platelets*.

*Women who have previously been pregnant may not be eligible to donate platelets. During pregnancy, some women can develop an antibody called human leukocyte antigens (HLA). These antigens are safe for mother and baby, but if they are transfused into a patient, it can sometimes cause the recipient to develop transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). It is a rare syndrome causing the lungs to begin to fail within the first 6 hours of receiving a blood transfusion. While most people recover from TRALI (after receiving care in the ICU), it is sometimes fatal and despite its rarity is still the number one cause of transfusion-related fatalities. Although the exact cause of TRALI is unknown, it is believed to be caused by certain antibodies in plasma products. This requires women who have previously been pregnant to undergo additional testing to check for these antibodies. Additional testing consists simply of an additional blood sample which can be drawn here at the Central California Blood Center. Results typically take 5 to 10 days. The safety of our both our donors and our community is our number one priority, and we are proud to use best practices, such as this, to ensure the highest quality care possible.


  • Platelets are tiny cells in your blood that form clots and stop bleeding.
  • Every 15 seconds a patient in the U.S. receives platelets.
  • More than 50% of all donated platelets go to cancer patients.

To start your platelet donation process please click below.


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