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Houchin Community Blood Bank asking for platelet donations to help cancer patients

Platelet Donation
Posted at 12:26 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 15:26:30-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Houchin Community Blood Bank is calling all platelet donors in light of a desperate need.

According to the HCBB, they need platelet donations to help with cancer patients. Platelets only last 5 days and are normally transfused within 3 days of donation.

The American Red Cross says that cancer treatments can put patients at risk for low red blood cells and low platelet counts, known as thrombocytopenia. Blood and platelet transfusions are a critical part of cancer patients’ care.

According to studies done by the National Cancer Institute in 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S.

HCBB said to donate platelets you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old to donate platelets
  • Meet the same requirements for a whole blood donation
  • Present a valid form of ID
  • Not have taken aspirin 2 days prior to donation
  • Drink plenty of liquid in the 24 hours before your donation.

You may donate platelets every 7 days, and up to 24 times a year. Your platelets are replaced within a few days of each donation.
HCBB said that during a platelet donation, whole blood is drawn from one arm into a sterile kit inside a cell separating machine. The machine separates the blood so that platelets and plasma are collected. The other blood components (red cells and white cells) are returned to the donor via the same arm.