And it's only just November! I got an email this morning from the StanfordBlood Center telling me that last night's platelets donation was my tenth of the year. I still have 4 or 5 more appointments scheduled, so as long as I can stay away from sick people, hopefully I can get to 15 by the end of the year!
Why do I give platelets? First of all, I can give more often - once every 72 hours (though a maximum of 24 times a year). Platelets are also the most precious component of the blood - when they take platelets from you at the center, they use an apheresis machine that puts the red blood cells back in your body. The platelets are needed for premature babies and cancer patients, among other critical need patients. I've had enough friends and relatives that were very sick and needed platelets, so I want to make sure the blood bank always has plenty on hand.
Unfortunately, platelets don't have as long of a shelf life as regular blood - so, it's a good think I can give more often!
I'm going again in a couple of weeks (November 14th at 5:30PM in Mountain View) - who wants to come with me? If you've never donated platelets before, you'll have to donate whole blood and get tested to see if you have enough spare platelets in your blood stream that you donate.
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