Published by Kirby Winn on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in News Releases
Following a recent increase in demand, ImpactLife is putting out a call for additional platelet donations. The average weekly platelet utilization for hospitals served by ImpactLife is approximately 430 units per week, but over the preceding four weeks, the average utilization has increased to 483 units per week. Platelets must be used within just seven days of donation, so the recent increase has placed a strain on the blood center’s availability inventory.
Platelets are the component of blood that initiates clotting and helps control bleeding. This component is most often transfused to help increase platelet counts for patients in treatment for cancer and to help control bleeding trauma or surgery. Platelets must be used within seven days of collection, so there is an ongoing need for daily platelet donations across the ImpactLife service region.
ImpactLife provides $25 gift card for platelet donations through March 20
Donors can give platelets at ImpactLife donation centers and on select mobile blood drives where equipment is available for platelet collection. All donors who come to give platelets though March 20, 2022 will receive a voucher to redeem for a $25 gift card. To schedule, please call (800) 747-5401, schedule online at www.bloodcenter.org, or via the ImpactLife mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).
How platelets are used in patient care
Patients receiving treatment for cancer may experience a decrease in the level of of certain blood cells, including platelets. When this happens, the patient is said to have a low platelet count (or thrombocytopenia). This can lead to excessive bruising and prolonged bleeding, among other symptoms. Receiving a platelet transfusion can help increase the patient’s platelet count and stop bleeding when needed. Platelet transfusions are also used to help control bleeding in cases of hemorrhage and blood loss due to surgery and trauma.
Platelet donors make a difference!
Sharee Hoegerl (right), ImpactLife Recruitment Development Coordinator, is a longtime platelet donor with more than 400 donations. “I like to donate because I know my platelets will go right away to a patient who really needs that transfusion,” said Hoegerl. “It could be a cancer patient, someone in surgery, or a victim of trauma. And platelets can’t come from any other source than a volunteer donor.” Hoegerl likes to use the 90 to 110 minutes of her platelet donations to read a book, watch TV, or get caught up on email.
Platelet donations are made through a process called apheresis (AY fir EE sis), which refers to equipment at the side of the donation chair that separates blood components. During the donation, a small quantity of blood is drawn from the donor into a centrifuge that separates the components of blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma). Platelets are diverted into the collection bag and the remaining components are returned to the donor. This process is repeated until the appropriate volume of platelets are collected. This can take an hour more, depending on the donor’s platelet count and other factors.
ImpactLife is a not-for-profit community organization providing blood services to 125 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country. Services extend from southcentral Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. (See a map of the ImpactLife service region.) ImpactLife operates 22 Donor Centers and holds approximately 5000 mobile blood drives annually to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals throughout our region.
ImpactLife announced its new name in May 2021. For more information on the name change, see www.bloodcenter.org/impactlife. For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and find us @impactlifeblood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.