Platelets are the part of your blood used to control bleeding; burn patients, trauma patients, and many surgeries require the use of platelets. When our Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) are making blood donor recruitment calls, some donors question why platelet donations are so important, and there are a plethora of reasons why.
The Importance of Platelets
For instance, there aren’t as many people who have the time to donate platelets, the shelf life of platelets is shorter, and many patients will need a platelet donation while going through different types of treatments.
Platelets only have a shelf life of about 5 days, are very fragile, and need to constantly be in motion, so the need for platelet donations is an everyday concern. Although you can donate them every 7 days, some donors don’t have enough time in their schedule to go once a week. Some people have a very open schedule, while others barely have any time to come in to donate a standard whole blood donation (which takes about 45 minutes to an hour).
The Differences Between Platelet & Whole Blood Donations
For a platelet donation, it can take up to 2 hours depending on the donor. With the people who have very busy schedules, that can cut down on the amount of platelet donations we receive, therefore potentially affecting patients in need.
A lot of cancer patients, as well as transplant patients, can use up to 10 units of platelets per day. For example, a cancer patient could use 6-8 units a day for 4-6 weeks. Comparing a platelet donation to a whole blood donation, it takes 6 separated whole blood donations to equal a single platelet donation. With that being said, it would take six different people’s donations to get one unit of platelets to a patient when they can use up to 10 in one day! When someone donates a single platelet donation, it can help keep the blood supply at a safe level while reducing the exposure of multiple donors to one single patient.
Platelet donations are very important to the community and can be used to help a multitude of people. So if you can find 2 hours of your day, you can help those who have had cancer, received an organ transplant, or were involved in a traumatic accident. You can also help to keep the blood supply at a safe level.
When’s the last time you donated platelets?