Ask us about platelets!

Posted: Mar 28, 2024 | Category: Latest Articles

Want to take your lifesaving donations to the next level? Ask us about platelets!

Have you ever had a papercut, accidentally nicked yourself in the kitchen, or skinned your knee on pavement? If so, then you have witnessed the work of platelets firsthand! These tiny blood cells are the first to spring into action when a cut or injury occurs. They are essential in the body and play a significant role in the healing process.

What are platelets?

Platelets are cell fragments created in bone marrow and play a vital role in blood clotting. They help to stop bleeding by adhering to blood vessel walls near the site of an injury. Outside of the body, platelets only have a lifespan of about 7days. This means we are in constant need of platelet donors!

Why are platelets special?

Platelets are most often needed for patients experiencing chronic diseases, such as cancer patients, and those awaiting surgeries and transplants. Every day, patients in our community receive platelet transfusions as they navigate their treatments and receive lifesaving care. Because platelets expire only 7 days after donation, those patients are relying on our special group of donors to meet the daily platelet transfusion needs for our community. The demand for platelet transfusions has grown dramatically in the past five years. Since 2018, the need for platelet transfusions in Central Texas has grown 42%!

Platelet donation is the most efficient method for collecting platelets, with a single donation appointment potentially saving multiple lives.


The donation process

Platelet donation looks a little different from whole blood donation. The entire process may take 2-3 hours to donate platelets at a We Are Blood donor center, during which our team of experts will ensure you are comfortable from start to finish. A special machine is used to separate the platelets from the rest of your blood, and the remaining components are safely returned to your body. Comparatively, it might take the combined efforts of up to six whole blood donations to produce the equivalent of a single platelet donation.

Following a platelet donation, your body quickly replenishes the loss by converting stem cells into platelets and fully restoring your levels within 72 hours. Platelets may be donated as frequently as every 7 days, with a maximum of 24 donations per year. And, if each donation can support up to three patients, imagine the profound impact we could make for local patients, if we donated to that extent! 

Platelet donors are pure GOLD!

We are in constant need of donations due to the short shelf-life of platelets and shortage of platelet donors. While certain blood types like O Negative are best suited for whole blood donations, because they can be more universally transfused; many other blood types, especially A+, B+, AB+ & AB-, can make a big difference as platelet donors.

We Are Blood extends our heartfelt gratitude to all current donors, and strongly encourages anyone contemplating donating to reach out to us. You could be key in saving numerous local lives!

And that’s not all! When you donate platelets on a regular basis, you can access great rewards. Donating platelets twice each month gets you engaged in our Two Step program. Two-Step donors get an extra goodie in addition to our regular donor treats. But, if you’re super dedicated and donate once a month for six consecutive months in 2024, you get access to your pick of some pretty amazing offerings. Learn more about the platelet donation process or the 6×6 program today!