BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
There’s a growing need for platelet donations in Bakersfield.
Platelets are the smallest of the three major types of blood cells and they are produced in bone marrow just like red and white blood cells.
But, donating platelets can take up to two hours. That’s much longer than the amount of time it takes to donate a pint of blood.
That’s why Houchin Community Blood Bank appreciates people who make time to donate.
“We can't get it on mobile drives. We can't get it from other parts of the county so we have to have people that are willing to come to Bakersfield and spend that two hours or less in the chair,” said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin Community Blood Bank.
“It's hard to come in and give up that amount of time but it's something that I do. I like to give back,” said platelet donor Jassen Froehlich.
One of the reasons there is a constant need for platelets is that they have a shelf life of five days, two of which are spent in testing.
“So that makes it difficult for us and we have to have a certain number coming in every day,” said Enriquez.
Enriquez also told 23 ABC that with more cancer treatment centers in town there could be a greater need for platelets in the future.
“So we have to continue to find new people who are willing to give platelets a try.”
People like Jason Froehlich who was donating in a room full of empty chairs Thursday morning.
"You know it's every two months so it's only an hour of your time every two months and needles aren't as bad as people make them out to be. It's relatively painless.”
Donors must make an appointment ahead of time to donate platelets. There are four chairs available at the Bolthouse location and eight chairs at the Truxtun location.
To find out if you meet the qualifications to donate go to hcbb.com