What It’s Like to Donate Platelets
Something not many know are in great need due to expiration date.Blood is constantly in need within our healthcare facilities, yet, it doesn't cross many minds to go in and donate. Whether they have a fear of needles, don't know what the experience will be like, or they don't know if they are able to give blood (check your eligibility). If needles don't freak you out to the point of anxiety, you should seriously consider giving blood. My last visit to Bonfils Blood Center, I overheard a conversation about platelet donation. I had no idea about this kind of donation but, just might become a regular donator because the high need.
Platelets are in blood to help clot the blood and stop excess bleeding. They are used when cancer patients undergo therapy, during open-heart surgery, and organ transplants. Unlike blood or plasma, platelets only have a shelf life of 5 days. A 5 day shelf life puts them in constant need of replenishing. With as many people that unfortunately undergo surgery or cancer therapy, everyone that can give them should. I went in for my first Platelet donation this last week and had a great experience!
Bonfils staff are so kind and attentive and helpful. They take you through the check-in process quick and get you very comfortable so you don't get cold (when blood is returned to your body it's room temperature and you will get slightly chilled). The process is about 1-2 hours (they say to plan for 3 hours for the donation) but it was quick. They give you a choice of the latest releases of movies to watch and make sure you are comfortable, warm, hydrated, and not hungry. My advice to anyone who is interested in giving blood or platelets is water, water, water. Drink lots of water hours before you go in and have a good meal before you go in. I drink tons of water before I go and I believe it helps to not feel any light headedness or other symptoms if you don't drink water or eat a good meal. In fact, I felt absolutely normal leaving the Bonfils Blood Center. So really there is nothing to be afraid of when donating!