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Press release from the American Red Cross:

Platelet donors needed to help save lives
Although platelets are becoming increasingly important in modern medical care, comparatively few people donate this life-saving component of blood.

Just four percent of the 7 million donation procedures performed each year through the American Red Cross involve donors who give platelets. That, Red Cross officials say, is something they hope to change by encouraging more people to donate platelets, and help save the lives of patients needing specialized care.

“Each year, thousands of children and adults will undergo care and treatment for cancer, leukemia and other serious diseases,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “And since platelets are very fragile and must be transfused within five days of donation, someone very sick may literally be waiting for your donation.”

Platelets are cells in blood that help form clots and control bleeding. Cancer patients often need platelets when chemotherapy and radiation lower their platelet counts, or when their bodies can’t produce enough platelets on their own. Patients undergoing surgery, trauma care or bone marrow transplants may also need platelets to stop or prevent internal bleeding or blood loss.

Platelets are most efficiently collected through apheresis—a special donation process that involves separating platelets from other blood components. Depending on blood type, some whole blood donors may be asked to consider donating platelets at designated donation sites through the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is primarily recruiting new male donors with AB positive, A positive, B positive and O positive blood.

“Whatever you choose to give, be it platelets or blood, you’ll be helping to save the day,” said Whitman.

Give blood or platelets Oct. 1 to 31 and be entered to win a weekend getaway for two at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, Ohio and a zip-line tour through Hocking Hills Canopy Tours.

 

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Saturday, Oct. 2, from 8 a.m. until noon at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren, located at 2810 Beacon St. in Fort Wayne. Please call 637-1907 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Sunday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of the Covenant, located at 10001 Coldwater Road in Fort Wayne. Please call 438-2801 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Monday, Oct. 4, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Harlan Christian Youth Center, located at 17308 Second St. in Harlan. Please call 657-5877 to arrange transportation to this blood drive.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Parkview Hospital in the Pach Room, located at 2200 Randallia Drive in Fort Wayne. Please call 373-3902 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Friday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Mill Supplies, Inc., located at 5105 Industrial Road in Fort Wayne. Please call 484-8566 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Saturday, Oct. 9, from 3:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at O’Daniel Jeep, located at 5611 Illinois Road in Fort Wayne. Please call 435-5331 to schedule your blood donation appointment. This blood drive is part of the 5th annual benefit for the Disabled American Veterans.
  • Saturday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Indiana Purdue Boy Scout Jamboree, located at 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd. in Fort Wayne. Come to donate and receive a nylon, drawstring backpack. Please call 423-4850 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
  • Sunday, Oct. 10, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in the Recreation Hall , located at 11337 Old U.S. 27 S. in Fort Wayne. Please call 639-6001 to schedule your blood donation appointment.

Fort Wayne Donor Center located at 1212 E. California Road in Fort Wayne, (across from the Memorial Coliseum)

Traditional whole blood or double red cell donation:

  • Mon. & Tues. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Weds. & Thurs. noon – 6 p.m.
  • Fri. & Sat. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Platelets can only be collected at a donation center and require an appointment. Please call 1-800-589-8127 to schedule your platelet pheresis donation or to learn more.

Platelet pheresis donation (call 1-800-589-8127 or 260-480-8299 to schedule a platelet donation):

  • Mon. 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Tues. & Weds. 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Thurs. 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Fri. 6:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Sat. 6:30 a.m. – noon
  • Sun. 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Lutheran Hospital Donor Center located at 7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 107 in Fort Wayne (in the South Lobby of Lutheran Hospital) Traditional whole blood or platelet pheresis donation (no platelet pheresis on Wednesdays):

  • Monday through Wednesday: noon – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday through Saturday: 6 a.m. – noon
  • Sunday: by appointment only

 

How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in 60 hospitals. In addition to supplying nearly half of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

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