I have been donating platelets (Aphersis) at the Red Cross for almost 20 years and my latest donation was yesterday. (Read about Aphersis – A Special Kind of Donation here).
Platelets are cells in the blood that help form clots and control bleeding.
I used to donate whole blood but switched to platelets. It takes 8 whole blood donations to get platelets equal to one platelet donor. My donation produces a double amount of platelets, sometimes even a triple amount! This is great; double and triple donations reduce chances of a transfusion reaction in the recipient because they received their platelets from the same donor. More platelet donors are needed; platelets only have a shelf life of 5 days, whole blood lasts 30 days.
It usually takes 2 hours for the donation and I have a needle in both arms; a draw needle and the return needle.
This is my draw arm, the blood is withdrawn from this arm.
And red blood cells are turned in this arm.
I normally watch TV during my donation, sometimes I doze.
Here is a photo of the machine that separates the platelets from the blood.
A person can donate platelets up to 24 times in a year or approximately every 2 weeks.
What do I get out of donating? I’m thankful that I’m healthy and able to help someone who needs help. I feel a sense of satisfaction and pride.
Here’s the final product – platelets!
I donate at the Goshen donor center. There are 2 centers in Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Donor Center and the Lutheran Hospital donor center. If you are interested or want more information, call 1-800-589-8127. SAVE A LIFE!