Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Superheroes Needed: No Tights Required

I always wanted to be a superhero. Have some sort of radioactive accident that would transform me into a super-handsome, super-witty, super-powerful being who would do good, save lives, save the world and get the girl.

Well, no radioactive accident.

But, in its place I’ve decided to at least save some lives. Sunday I will be donating platelets from my blood at the Red Cross. Platelet donation is different than donating blood. It takes about two hours. Your blood is removed from the body, the platelets are separated and then the blood is recirculated back into your vein through the same small needle. Scientifically, this seems cool to me. Practically is another matter however. I’m not too squeamish of needles but I also don’t like sitting still for two hours.

“Doris”, the enthusiastic scheduler, was downright giddy that I had decided to donate. Apparently AB+ blood is the best platelet donor and my platelet count is a massive 258. Good blood here kids, good blood.

The uses of platelets are different than whole blood. Platelets are used in the more crucial procedures like organ transplants, bone marrow donations, cancer treatments, etc. But platelets are only valid for five days and the first two days are needed for testing on the goods themselves. You may donate up to 26 times a year so, if this isn’t too unbearable, I think I’ll try to do every two weeks.

If something like this interests you, please call the Red Cross at 503-284-1234.



Alice P said...

They'll only let you donate whole blood every 8 weeks, and I think the interval for platelets is twice as long.

Anonymous said...

I was recently contacted by the Red Cross about donating platelets after making a whole blood donation during a blood drive at my work. Figured I'll give it a try & see how it goes :)