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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Blood Donation

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Blood Donation/Rebound
Question: I am a 44 year old male in good general health. I donate platelets at the local bloodbank 6-7 times per year. Is there a long-term risk involved with this? When one shaves, the whiskers grow back coarser and faster. Body builders overtax their muscle tissue so the body will overbuild to compensate. Even calcium-based antacids frequently produce rebound, where the stomach produces even more acid in compensation. My younger brother (40) had a heart attack recently. This concerns me. If I undergo apheresis every 2 weeks, as I'm sure the bloodbank would like, is there any risk of platelet production increasing and thus placing me at greater risk, given the same cholesterol levels?

Answer: Taking your platelets will not increase the number or make your hypercoagulable. This is mainly due to the short half-life of platelets and the bodies need to continually replace them. Taking the amount from your peripheral blood is minuscule compared to your bodies ability to replace them and will not cause rebound increase.

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