Published by Kirby Winn on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 in News Releases
ImpactLife is issuing a call for donors who would like to try giving platelets for the first time. Now through March 19, the blood center will provide donors who give platelets for the first or second time with ImpactLife a voucher to redeem for a $50 electronic gift card. Donors who have given platelets two or more times with ImpactLife will receive a voucher to redeem for a $25 electronic gift card, also through March 19.
Platelets are the component of blood that helps control bleeding and must be used within seven days of collection, so there is an ongoing need for daily platelet donations across the ImpactLife service region.
Donors can schedule appointments to give platelets at ImpactLife donation centers and on select mobile blood drives. To find local opportunities to donate, see www.bloodcenter.org/donate/locations. Donors may schedule an appointment by calling (800) 747-5401, online at www.bloodcenter.org, or via the ImpactLife mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).
How platelets are used in patient care
Platelets are the component of blood that initiates clotting and helps control bleeding. Patients in treatment for cancer may experience a decrease in the level 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.
Automation and apheresis: the platelet donation process
Platelet donations are made with automated equipment next to the donation chair through a process called apheresis (AY fir EE sis) that separates blood components. 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.
Learn more about the platelet donation process at www.bloodcenter.org/donate/donating-options/platelets/.
ImpactLife is a not-for-profit community organization providing blood services to more than 120 hospitals and emergency medical service providers 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.
For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and find us @impactlifeblood on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.