We all know about donating blood to help support the efforts of the American Red Cross. What may be less known is the equally important need for platelet donations.
Platelets function to help our body form clots and stop bleeding. This becomes even more critical for the millions of Americans who need platelets to fight cancer, chronic diseases, and traumatic injuries. The American Red Cross estimates that someone needs platelets every 15 seconds! And platelets are only usable for five days after donation, making the need for donations ongoing and critical.
Recently, Donna Stewart masked up and did her part at a local donation center. During the donation, a machine removes platelets from your blood and then returns the remaining blood components back into your body. The process can take up to three hours, but one donation can provide platelets for two or three people in need.
While blood, platelet, and plasma donations are always needed, circumstances this winter may complicate things even more. Since only individuals who feel well can donate, a severe flu season in the midst of a pandemic will make it increasingly difficult to maintain a sufficient supply for hospital patients in need. Visit the American Red Cross website to learn more and to find a blood drive or donation center near you.