Platelets are an important component of blood because they are a critical part of the clotting process. They prevent or stop bleeding and are life-saving therapy for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment, leukemia, bone marrow transplants, organ transplants and open heart surgery. Children undergoing therapy for cancer and leukemia often need platelets. Due to recent advances in the treatment of these illnesses, the demand for platelets is growing dramatically.
Almost anyone can be a platelet donor. The qualifications are the same as for whole blood donations. Through a process call apheresis (pronounced ay-Fuh-REE-sis) or plateletpheresis, which is a technique of selectively withdrawing a single component of blood, you can donate platelets, Since platelets only have a shelf life of five days, the hospital demand for them is constant. That's why we depend on our platelet apheresis heroes.
Platelet donation allows the collection of a large quantity of platelets from a single donor. The specialized technology separates and collects just the platelets and returns the red cells and plasma to the donor. To equal the quantity of one platelet donation, we would have to combine or "pool" the platelets from six different whole blood donations from six different donors.
YES ! We have several donors that donate both whole blood and platelets. Due to the difference in donation frequency guidelines, donor can arrange to fit both types of donations in their schedule.
BOTH !! . There is an equal need for blood and platelets. However since there are fewer locations for platelet donations, there is a small donor base and a stronger need to recruit new donors.
Up to 24 times a year ! Due to the flexibility of platelet donation, many donors create their own schedules. We have some donors that donate twice a month, once a month, once a year or whenever they can. And every donation is appreciated !!! There is a tremendous need for platelet donors.
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