Donating platelets is a different way to save lives. When you donate platelets, you are giving a component of your blood that helps a patient’s blood to clot. Platelets help form scabs when you cut yourself.
Often, they are used to help patients with malignant diseases who have low or abnormal platelets due to the disease itself or chemotherapy. Platelets are in high demand for people with leukemia, blood disorders, cancer; recipients of bone marrow or organ transplants and accident, burn, and trauma victims.
While platelets survive in your circulatory system for about ten days, they are only useful outside the body for five days. That’s why keeping a good supply of platelets can be challenging. Next time you go to give blood, ask about donating platelets. You may need to give at a different location because an apheresis machine is needed for the donation. It takes a little longer but the rewards are worth it.