That’s what platelet donors hear most every time they help save a life through the American Red Cross. And that’s because these tiny gold-colored cells in blood are constantly needed by hospital patients with life-threatening illness or injury.
“Platelet donors are highly valued by medical professionals and by hospital patients and their families,” said Tracy Duncan Fox, spokesperson for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “These donors play a vital role in ensuring an adequate supply of a very fragile resource is available when it’s most needed—which is literally every day.”
Platelets are the clotting components in blood that control bleeding. Patients with serious health conditions like leukemia, cancer and aplastic anemia can’t produce enough platelets of their own and often need platelets to survive or to improve their quality of life. Platelets are also essential for many surgeries, trauma care and during the course of chemotherapy.
Platelets for patient care come from volunteer donors who make and keep appointments through special Red Cross collection sites. Platelet donations can take from 90 minutes to two hours and involve the use of a cell-separating machine that removes platelets and a small amount of plasma from whole blood, then returns remaining blood components to the donor. Donated platelets only last for five days, and are always in high demand. Donors can give platelets up to 24 times in a 12-month period. Donors can also give blood after waiting a certain number of days between donations and meeting eligibility requirements.
“When you give platelets, chances are someone very sick needs your donation almost immediately,” said Duncan Fox. “And since you may be eligible to give platelets more often than you think, you could help save lives throughout the year by simply rolling up your sleeves.”
For information on donating platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-589-8127.
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Monday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at City Hall, located at 100 E. Michigan Blvd. and U.S. Highway 12 in Michigan City. Come to donate and receive a Major League tumbler. Please call 873-1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your blood donation appointment.
- Tuesday, Nov. 6, from noon until 6 p.m. at St. John’s United Church of Christ in the Fellowship Hall, located at 101 St. John Road in Michigan City. Come to donate and receive a Major League tumbler.
- Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Lincoln Township Community Building in the Hall, located at 3098 South 800 East (Fish Lake) in Walkerton. Come to donate and receive a Major League tumbler.
- Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Purdue University North Central in the Library Student Faculty Building Room 144, located at 1401 South U.S. 421 in Westville. Come to donate and be entered into a drawing for a $50 shopping spree. Please go to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “PNC13” to schedule your blood donation appointment.
- Friday, Nov. 9, from 8 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at South Central Junior-Senior High School in the South Gymnasium, located at 9808 South 600 West in Union Mills. Come to donate and receive a Major League tumbler. Please call 767-2266 to schedule your blood donation appointment for this blood drive sponsored by the LEO Club.
- Friday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Brentwood at LaPorte, located at 2002 Andrew Ave. in LaPorte.
- Monday, Nov. 12, from noon until 6 p.m. at First Church of God in the gymnasium, located at 2020 E. Lincolnway in LaPorte.
About donating and eligibility
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. Platelet donors should also be aspirin-free for 48 hours.
About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 60 hospitals. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org