Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

With Supply Low, Blood Bank Appeals for Platelet Donors

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

With Supply Low, Blood Bank Appeals for Platelet Donors

Article excerpt

Platelet donations to the Community Blood Services have dropped to about a third of what they normally are, and donors willing to roll up their sleeves are desperately needed.

"Community Blood Services must collect about 50 platelets a day to meet our hospitals' needs, but we are falling short of that goal," said Karen Ferriday, community affairs director at the organization. "Platelets are needed for patients with blood disorders, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and patients who need open heart surgery or are undergoing organ transplants. Just one cancer patient can use up to eight units of platelets a week."

Platelet donations are similar to blood donations except that blood is collected in smaller doses at a time and it is sent through a cell-separating machine that collects the platelets before returning it to the donor. The entire process takes between 90 minutes and two hours.

"The supply of platelets must constantly be replenished because platelets only have a shelf life of about 3 1/2 days after testing is completed," Ferriday said. …

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