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Seven Things You Didn't Know About Platelets

Lauren Frame
January 17, 2020

Platelet Cells

1 Platelet Production: Origins in Bone Marrow

Just like your red blood cells and most of your white blood cells, your platelets are produced in your bone marrow. 

2 Platelets: Clot-Forming Cell Fragments

Platelets are small, disk-shaped cell fragments that don’t have a nucleus. They help your body form clots and stop bleeding. These tiny cells travel to the site of an injury, sticking to the blood vessel walls to essentially plug up the injury and help stop bleeding.

3 Bone Marrow's Role in Blood Cell Creation

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue in the cavities of your bones that manufactures stem cells. These stem cells then develop into platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells.

4 Daily Platelet Production: 100 Billion!

Each day, the average healthy adult produces about 100 billion platelets. That equals out to 1 million platelets produced every second.

5 Platelets: Short-Lived Lifesavers

Platelets only live about seven to 10 days in your body. That means when you donate platelets, your donation must be transfused within five days.

6 Platelet Donation Efficiency

One automated platelet donation produces one or more complete platelet doses for a patient. It would take four to six whole blood donors pooled together to produce one complete platelet dose.

7 Platelet Donation: Rapid Regeneration

When you give platelets, your body immediately begins converting more stem cells into platelets and will replace the donated platelets within 72 hours. You can learn more about the platelet donation process.

What happens when your bone marrow is unable to produce enough platelets?

Owen was diagnosed with Chronic Granulomatous Disease when he was just 12 weeks old. The condition severely compromised his immune system, putting him in danger.

To cure his disease, Owen needed a bone marrow transplant.

When he was just 1 year old, Owen was fortunate enough to find a perfectly matched bone marrow donor. He relied on blood and platelet donors to keep him alive while he waited for his transplant to take and allow his body to begin generating the healthy new stem cells, blood cells and platelets needed to keep him alive.

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Lauren Frame

Lauren Frame is a Graphic Designer at OneBlood. She has a passion for motivating and educating blood donors through storytelling.

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