Donating platelets is another way you can safely and effectively help local patients. Platelets have a short shelf life, usually five to seven days total, including two days for testing; thus, there is a great demand for platelet donors, especially during the ongoing, nationwide blood supply shortage.
What are platelets?
Platelets are tiny cells that circulate within the blood to form clots to stop bleeding.
Why are platelets important?
When a blood vessel is damaged, it sends out distress signals that cause platelets to swarm to the site of the injury. The platelets spread across the surface of the damaged blood vessel to form a clot. This process is called adhesion, because the platelets grow tentacle-like structures that help them stick to each other. The platelets themselves also send chemical signals that attract more platelets to the injury site.
Where do platelets come from?
Platelets are created in your bone marrow along with your white and red blood cells.
Who can I help by donating platelets?
Platelets are largely used for people receiving cancer treatments, surgical patients, and those experiencing massive bleeding due to trauma or accidents.
What’s the donation process involve?
Unlike whole blood donations, platelet donations are automated, a process called apheresis. The apheresis instrument works by centrifugation – or spinning – of the blood drawn from the donor, layering the blood cells by weight or density and separating them from the liquid, while maintaining them in a closed circuit to prevent contamination. The instrument can then draw out the desired platelets into a sterile bag for storage.
How can I help?
For more information and to schedule your platelet donation to help your community, call or text Carter BloodCare at 800-366-2834.