Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another way to help Sickle Cell Patients "Donate Platelets"

What Is a Platelet Donation?

During a platelet donation, a small portion of your blood (less than one pint at a time), is drawn from your arm and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the platelets and safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to you. After the donation you can resume your normal activities, avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous exercise that day.

Should You Be a Platelet Donor?

A single platelet donation can provide enough platelets for a full therapeutic dose for a patient in need. In fact, some platelet donations yield enough platelets for two or three therapeutic doses. By contrast, it takes about five whole blood donations to produce a single therapeutic dose. Many patients who need platelets are undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant and have weakened immune systems. A platelet dose from a single donor reduces the patient’s exposure to multiple donors and is therefore preferred by many physicians. Check out this video.

Key Facts

  • Donors should not take any aspirin or products containing aspirin 48 hours before donation

  • You can donate up to 24 times per year.

  • The donation takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.

  • Call 1-800-RED-CROSS for platelet donation opportunities near you.

  • Donors have the option to watch a movie, listen to music or simply relax during the donation process.

  • A platelet donation is also called a ‘platelet apheresis’ or ‘platelet pheresis’ donation.

  • If you are a platelet donor, you can still make regular whole blood donations. Both gifts are vitally important to patients with life threatening diseases.

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