I enjoy getting these little notes from the Red Cross, letting me know where my platelets have gone:
Thank you for being an American Red Cross platelet donor. Your platelets may be a lifesaving gift to patients in need, including cancer and trauma patients, individuals undergoing major surgeries, patients with blood disorders and premature babies.
After first ensuring local needs were met, your donation on 5/22/2017 was sent to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, SC to help patients in need. Your donations are on their way to change lives!
Platelets have a very short life span – only 5 days! It’s critical for us to collect platelets continuously to ensure they’re available for patients when they need them. Your ongoing donations are greatly appreciated.
On behalf of the hospitals and patients we serve, thank you for being a Red Cross platelet donor!
Mary O’Neill, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
American Red Cross
I give about every two weeks. (Unlike with whole blood, you can give platelets every six days, but I like to give myself an extra week to recover.) My last donation was Monday. So I’ll give again around the 19th.
Any time y’all would like to help out, jump on in. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
You might want to ease into it. It would be awesome if you were up for giving platelets right away, but I’ll admit that’s pretty hard-core, and I had to work up to it. It can take almost three hours, from the time you walk into the donation center until the time you walk out. Giving whole blood is much easier, and much faster — and you can’t give again for eight weeks, so it’s less demanding that way, too.
After you do that a few times, you might be ready to step it up. But I know in my case, I had to get desensitized to the process before I was ready for platelets. I had to get over my tendency to get faint at the very idea of the needle going in…