Apheresis is the process by which platelets and other blood components are collected from a donor. The word “Apheresis” is derived from the Late Latin word “Aphaeresis” meaning “to take away.” This process is accomplished by using a machine called a cell separator. Most commonly, blood is drawn from the donor and platelets suspended in plasma are collected by the cell separator. The remaining components of the blood are returned to the donor by the automated instrument. Each apheresis donation procedure takes about one and one-half to two hours. Donors can watch movies or relax during the donation. It is also possible to collect red blood cells and plasma by apheresis methods. Similar to the collection of platelets, the desired blood component is collected, and the remaining components of the blood are returned to the donor.