Saturday, June 11, 2005

Donate platelets.

Regular readers know that I do a post on donating blood every two months. That's because most folks are eligible to donate blood every 56 days. It only takes an hour, it's only a pint and it may be the simplest way to save a life.

Last time I donated, I sat next to a woman who was donating platelets for the first time. Platelets are required for blood clotting and are used in surgeries, transplants, and during cancer therapy, for example. According to the Red Cross:
A single apheresis donation of platelets can provide as many platelets as 5 whole blood donations. In addition, a platelet transfusion from a single donor greatly reduces the chances of an immune system reaction to the transfusion. Bone marrow transplant, cancer and leukemia patients whose immune systems are already compromised, benefit particularly from single donor platelet transfusions.

Those who are eligible to donate blood are usually able to donate platelets. And get this: you can donate platelets every three days! What a way to make a difference! It takes about 2.5 hours, and you must make and appointment. It's a great way to serve.

To make an appointment to donate platelets, call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit By donating platelets, you donate life.


Karama said...

June 14th was World Blood Donor Day!

Karama said...

Here are some other ways you can donate life.

Anonymous said...

you can donate platelets every two weeks not three days

Karama said...

Hello Anon,

Thanks for your comment. Some organizations may restrict platelet donation to every two weeks. The Red Cross policy states:

"People who donate just platelets can donate every 3 days for a maximum of 24 times a year." (

I hope you enjoyed your visit to So what can I do. Please stop by again soon, and spread the word.

x arc donor said...

Dear Apheresis brothers and sisters. I must tell you of an extremely danger, life altering medical condition that developed during my last triple apheresis donation. Please take the time to read my story and see if you too. Could unknowing be setting yourself up for possible personal calamity with very real and chilling effects. Such as your health, your job, your ability to work or even care for your family.
Sounds far reaching and unimaginable doesn’t it. Why can such a safe & simple procedure, as easy as apheresis is. Be such a big deal anyway. After all it’s not the first times we’ve donated is it. You could say we ‘re all old hands at this . The Cross would call , and we freely and welling give because that what good donors do.
The American Red Cross wants all its donor to think and feel safe when giving donation. Rightly so you should say. Very rarely does anything ever go even remotely wrong to cause personal injury or harm to a donor as a result of a post complications from a donator procedure. Lets face it , other than a little sting from that needle. The biggest issue was what movie were we going to watch.. We’ve all been there going to nap or watch the movie.
Now I will ask you some questions to see if you really understand just how unimportant the American Red Cross is concerned with your well being . Question one : When was the last time you actually read and understood what the Informed Consent For Apheresis Blood Collections form was all about. Can you even remember it. Trust me that was one of the very first forms the American Red Cross had you sign. You say it doesn’t really ring a bell, you just don’t remember that form at all. Do you even remember signing it. Don’t worry about that. The Red Cross or their out sourced Risk Management Company will be the first to jog your memory back to reality with a well you signed it.
There is a very good reason why you don’t remember this consent form. Now let me see if I can get this straight myself.. According to what my ARC Donation Chapter in ST. Paul Minnesota. said. This Consent form is valid until there has been an FDA required changes made to the overall apheresis procedure. At that time a new consent form must than be signed and dated by the donor. If there has not been any FDA required changes made. There one signed copy of the consent form is all that’s required to cover the ARC if they are faced with a risk from some donor complication. I’d be donating for years and found out to my surprise I has signed four consent forms over the years. Can’t remember signing or even reading any of them, More less then even what was written on them. BIG mistake dear friends. This form basically spells out the real dangers that can develop from a donation are. The ARC version does not use the words LIFE- THREATRING CONDITION as the FDA recommends. Nor does the ARC require their people to discuss these dangerous complication with the donor’s before any consent forms are signed as required by FDA recommendations. I’d say this very safe and simple procedure that’s advertised on the ARC wed site. Isn’t as safe as we really think it is.
Question two . When you donate does your ARC technician go over the complete donor questionnaire and educational paper work with you.? I mean does he or she actual tell you there are very rare and serious complications that could end your life. Don’t tell me they just ask you about your sex life and traveling history. Seems they are far more concerned about the quality of your blood then they are about informing you of possible life altering complications from this donating that your freely giving them.
I will not ask you any more question at this time because I didn’t want to force a change of anyone mind about donations. But I do want to say the average donor does not understand what the true complication can be if they develop any serious medical conditions as a result of a donation. The ARC does not go out of their way to really inform you of this. Of course they will say they do. But in actually you must read and hopefully comprehend what‘s in these consent forms. The ARC does not personal tell you of such risks to your person. You must first read this yourself on the consent form and then ask them the questions . You would think it should be the other way around. Please don’t wait until it’s to late. Please start asking them hard questions about the consent forms that you sign. Remember what your really doing is releasing the ARC of all responsible if any thing should happen to you.
There is much more to my story if you interested.