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Platelet Donations Needed; Summer Shortages Taking Toll

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Platelet Donations Needed; Summer Shortages Taking Toll

Upper Cumberland Blood Assurance issued a critical plea for platelet donors Friday.

As of Friday morning, the organization said they only had 15 platelet units to be distributed to over 70 different medical facilities in the region. Blood Assurance Chief Medical Officer Liz Culler said shortages are common during holiday periods.

“A lot of times people just aren’t in town to be able to donate,” Culler said. “And on top of that, not only are people on vacation, but they are driving around and they are getting in more accidents, so we call this trauma season.”

Culler said platelets have a variety of uses and can be the deciding factor for many patients. She said about half go to cancer patients receiving harsh treatments and the other half go to car crash victims and surgery cases for their clotting ability.

Culler said platelet donation is less taxing on the body and does not cause as much fatigue as conventional blood drawing, qualifying more people to donate. There is also greater demand for platelets due to their quick expiration.

“A lot of people don’t know that the shelf life for platelets is only five days, so unfortunately we can’t stock up on platelets like we can on red cells,” Culler said.

A quick medical examination provided by Blood Assurance donation centers determines who is able to donate, but giving platelets directly is not the only way to help.

“Of course, not everyone is eligible to donate platelets, so you can help by just spreading the word,” Culler said.


The post Platelet Donations Needed; Summer Shortages Taking Toll appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.