One activity that I enjoy doing is donating blood platelets. I started off donating whole blood at various blood drives in college and through my employers. One day, I had a conversation with a volunteer at a blood drive and they told me about platelet donations. They said they had a need for my blood type, and thus began my path to donating platelets.
Here are a few steps on how you too can donate platelets…
- Platelet donations take place at Red Cross donation centers. So, before you call to make an appointment you should google to see if there is a donation center near you.
- Next, you must make an appointment for platelet donations by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or going online to redcrossblood.org.
- After you have made your appointment you should begin prepping for the appointment. You can do this by, getting eight hours of sleep a night, drinking 8 glasses of water daily, as well as, eating meals with iron rich foods.
- So it is the day of your appointment. You should know that platelet appointments take up to 3 hours so plan your day around that.
- If you would like to save some time before your appointment you can go online and use RapidPass®, which is the pre-donation materials and health history questions you fill out before every donation.
- If you used RapidPass®, show the intake workers the code you received from the program when you arrive at the donation center.
- Then you are set up for the donation. This donation is different because needles are placed in both arms and are connected to a machine which takes your blood, sorts out the platelets, and returns the rest of the blood back into your body.
- During the process, there is a small TV in front of you with headphones. You also have a remote and can watch any channel on cable while your donation is happening. (I suggest Sex and The City reruns)
- Before you know it, your donation is done and you are on your way. For just a few hours of your day you can help up to 3 patients who require platelets.
To learn more visit www.redcrossblood.org