You’ve heard plenty about the need for donated blood. Now the people at the American Cancer Society and the Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers want you to take it a step further – through apheresis. That’s the donation of platelets; they take your blood, spin out the platelets, and give you back the rest.
“Few people understand the vital role that blood platelet donation makes on a cancer patient’s recovery,” said Margaret Vaughn, lobbyist for the Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers. “There is an especially high demand for blood platelets. They only have a five-day shelf life, so it’s important there is a consistent supply of them because they need to be replenished so quickly,” Vaughn said.
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Jennifer Bowman, spokeswoman for the Rock River Valley Community Blood Center in Rockford, says the process of platelet donation is not the same as whole blood donation.
“We use a process called apheresis. It’s a special kind of donation that allows a donor to give specific blood components such as platelets. During the apheresis procedure all blood but the needed components are returned to the donor following the donation,” Bowman said.
Starting in May there will be cancer prevention study at blood centers across the state.
To sign up for the prevention study or to find out where in your area you can find a blood bank and if it takes blood platelet donation visit www.cps3illinois.org