Who can donate
You may be able to give platelets if you have the right blood type, a high enough platelet count and giving platelets fits into your life.
By becoming a platelet donor you'll be joining a small community of just 10,000 active donors across England who save lives every day.
There are some physical criteria and time commitments needed to be a platelet donor. This may not suit everyone or every lifestyle.
To find out if you are suitable to give platelets there are some things you can check now and some things we check during an assessment when you next give blood.
Can you donate platelets?
You may be able to donate platelets if all of the following apply to you.
You need to:
Who can't donate
There are some reasons why you can't give platelets, even if you have donated blood or platelets in the past.
We are looking for people with these blood types to switch to donating platelets:
- A positive
- A negative
- AB negative
Platelets from people with these blood types are safe to give to almost everyone and are constantly needed by hospitals.
By increasing the number of donors with these blood types we can provide the right platelets for everyone who needs them, when they need them.
Hospital demand may change in the future and we may need donors with other blood types to step forward.
If you don't have one of blood types you can still save and improve lives by giving blood. Find out how your blood type can help others
You will need to be a blood donor before switching to platelet donation.
Starting as a blood donor is a good way to get used to donating before committing to giving platelets.
What you should do next depends on whether you have donated before.
Given blood in the last two years - check the criteria on this page to see if we need you as a platelet donor.
Given blood more than 2 years ago - you will need to start giving blood again before switching to platelets.
Never given blood before - start giving blood before switching to platelets. About giving blood
Donated platelets in the past - you can give platelets again if you meet the criteria. Call us on 0300 123 23 23 to make an appointment.
Once you make the switch to platelet donation you cannot continue to give blood. You can return to blood donation later if you wish.
Depending on your donation history the age you can join us will vary. Generally you can switch to platelet donation if:
- you are aged 17 to 66 and have given blood or platelets before
- you are between 66 and 70 and have given blood or platelets before
- or if you are over 70 and have given blood or platelets in the last 2 years
If you are under 17, please consider registering your interest in blood donation when you are 17. Find out about giving blood
You will need to have enough blood to safely donate platelets. We can estimate your blood volume based on your height and weight.
Download this weight and height chart (44KB, PDF) to get an indication of whether you can donate.
We’re looking for people who can commit to giving regularly to join our dedicated community of platelet donors.
Giving platelets can take up to 2 hours.
You can expect to donate platelets at least 4 times a year. We will discuss with you after your first donation how often you can give.
How often we'll ask you to donate will depend on hospital demand for your blood type and platelet count.
Donating is so easy and pain free. In fact I enjoy the peace and quiet.
Natalie started giving platelets after a friend died from bowel cancer