JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood bag containing platelets. Woman blood donor is seen donating blood platelets at an apheresis clinic. In the foreground is a bag of platelets (yellow) in the process of being filled. Tubes from the woman's arm show red blood emerging from, and being returned to, the bloodstream. By a process called apheresis, blood is collected from the patient's arm and centrifuged. The red cells are returned to the donor, while platelets with some plasma are collected in a sterile blood bag. Platelets play an important role in normal blood clotting. Platelet donations are given to leukaemia patients who cannot produce enough platelets of their own.
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