Why are platelet donations important?

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Platelets are essential not only for trauma victims, but also for those battling cancer or undergoing major surgery. They make up a tiny fraction of your blood and have a shelf life of five days, the shortest time of all the blood components.

There always is a need for platelet donations, and it is vital that we have them on our shelves at all times. For example, in the aftermath of the Santa Fe tragedy, hospitals asked for us to provide platelets. We could not have done so were they not already on our shelves.

Why are platelets important?

Platelets, which make up a tiny fraction of your blood, help control bleeding and help heal wounds by forming clots.

What is a “normal” platelet count?

Normal platelet counts range from 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood. Depending on your count, you could donate enough platelets to help one, two or even three patients in one sitting.

How does donating platelets alone compare with donating whole blood?

An automated platelet donation is equal to the platelets derived from six whole blood donations.

Who is eligible? 

What is the process like?

Platelets are donated through an automated process. It’s also called apheresis (but we won’t make you pronounce it). This process can take up to two hours, but our phlebotomists make sure you’re nice and comfortable (they have blankets if you get chilly) before you are hooked up to a Trima machine. These machines separate your platelets from the other blood components, returning the plasma and red blood cells, along with fluid to keep you hydrated.

How often can you donate platelets?

You may donate every seven days, up to 24 times per year.

Where can you donate?

You can donate platelets at any of The Blood Center’s Neighborhood Donation Centers.

What can you do during the process?

Load a good book onto your Kindle, enjoy something on the television we’ll provide you, study for class, keep up with social media on your phone or catch up on your favorite show on your iPad.

Ready? Schedule your Platelet donation today! 

Blood Center News
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By Tammie Riley 

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A 3-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed in the middle of the room with monitors attached to her bare chest. She’s awake, but she doesn’t lift her head as we walk into the room. Still, she follows us with her eyes. The only sound we hear from her is a small cough while a nurse comes in to check her stats.

 

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Blood transfusion is one treatment used to combat complications from sickle cell disease, a form of anemia most likely to affect people of African descent. Prince and her now 27-year-old daughter, Quannecia McCruse, founded the Sickle Cell Association of Houston years ago to educate and provide resources to the community.

 

Drive and save lives

Penny, a local teacher with some free time over the summer, has helped us kick off our new Volunteer Driver program. Are you interested in joining us in our mission to save lives? Call us at (713) 791-6262 or email volunteering@giveblood.org.

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Meet Eden

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Max was born with a genetic disorder (neurofibromatosis type 1) that can cause tumors to grow on his nerve endings, and SuperMax has been his alter ego ever since. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center mourns Barbara Bush

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Dr. Charles Drew: A Blood Banking Pioneer

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Tying the knot and saving lives

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Blood on ambulances helps EMS agencies save more lives

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Blood Center Resources

Our mission is to partner with the community to save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
1400 La Concha Lane
Houston, TX 77054

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