Platelet Donors Needed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/15/07

Platelet Donors Needed

They're complete strangers, but Emily Farr and her mom, Melinda, feel a connection to David Dougal. It's his donation that may have potentially saved Emily's life five years ago, and may do so again in the future. Emily was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a bone marrow disorder, 5 years ago. She depended on receiving the platelet transfusions to live. " They helped save my life and they still are saving me," said Emily.

Her mom agreed." We went from her being diagnosed and having three weeks to live, to five years. Without those platelets, she wouldn't be here."

But Emily and her mom both remember times where they had to wait for platelets to come in, precious time Emily didn't really have. In the United States, only three percent of Americans actually donate blood. Only one percent of the population donate platelets.

American Red Cross Donor Recruitment Representative, Amy Clifton, says platelet donations are very scarce. Right now, across the region there's only 72 units available, which will only last a few days. " Platelets only live in the body for five days. Which means we have to have a constant supply of donors coming in, so we can get those platelets processed and back out to the hospital and transfused into patients within that five day time span," explained Amy.

The American Red Cross is counting on donors, like David, to roll up their sleeves and help out. His one donation on Tuesday could potentially save someone's life this week. " I've always felt good about doing this for a very worthy cause," said David," It's not a pride issue. I know it's for people who need it. Our bodies make it, so why not share it?"

He doesn't mind sacrificing a little bit of his time and his healthy cells to help patients in our area. Donating platelets is a little different than donating blood. The platelets are actually separated from the blood with a special machine. The process is painless,but does take around two hours. There's no side effects.

If you want to donate, you will need to make an appointment. You can call 961-5765 or 1-800-GiveLife.

Reported By: Melanie A. Ruberti; mruberti@wtoc.com 

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