The transfusion of donor platelets is frequently needed to support patients treated for acute leukemia. The platelets can be pooled from several unrelated donors and given as "pooled random-donor platelets". It requires the platelets from about six one-unit blood donors to significantly raise the platelet count in a recipient. Sufficient platelets can be obtained from one donor by apheresis. The later technique skims the platelets of large volumes of blood passing through the apheresis machine. The red cells and plasma are returned to the donor. The advantage of single-donor platelets is that the patient is not exposed to the different antigens on platelets from many different people and is less likely to develop antibodies against donor platelets. HLA-matched platelet transfusion can be given from a related donor with an identical or very similar HLA tissue type. The platelets are collected by apheresis.
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