Thursday, June 4, 2009


Sixty percent of the population is medically eligible to give, yet only 5% of the population donates.

What you ask?


It's been almost a year since I got my tattoos. So, for almost twelve months I have been unable to give blood. I told the people at Lifesource to give me a call when I was eligible again. They are on top of things and called me on Tuesday.

This time, I am changing things up. I am going to go in and donate platelets...a process that takes no less than 1.5 hours. I was told to bring a movie or a book while I lay there. I think I will just shut my eyes and rest. It will be pretty neat for me...interesting. They will hook me up to a special machine that will extract the platelets from my blood and put the rest back. How cool is that?! In 48 hours, my body will have made up for what was taken out. Amazing.

Facts (sorry, I just had to...things that deal with the human body, blood especially, are just fascinating to me):

What are platelets?

Platelets are the cellular component that stops bleeding.

Who needs platelets?

Patients with cancer or leukemia, transplant patients and people with blood disorders, such as aplastic anemia, benefit from platelet transfusions. During chemotherapy and radiation treatment, both cancer cells and platelets are destroyed. Many of these patients need platelet transfusions to prevent uncontrolled bleeding.

Why donate platelets?

Your healthy platelets can help a patient whose body needs help preventing severe bleeding or bruising because his or her own platelets are weakened or destroyed.

Is it safe to donate?

The apheresis kit in the cell-separating machine is sterile and is discarded after each donation. It is impossible to get AIDS or any viral disease by donating platelets. Each donation is closely supervised by trained staff who observe the donor throughout the process. The donation does not significantly decrease the number of platelets in the donor’s body, and the donated platelets are quickly replaced. Donors experience no bleeding problems.

Platelet Donation Procedure

Platelet donations are made through a process called apheresis
(ay-fur-EE'- sis). Blood is drawn from the donor's arm and channeled through a sterile, disposable kit housed in a special cell-separating machine. The machine spins the blood to separate the platelets, then returns the red blood cells and plasma to the donor. The body can actually replace the amount of platelets donated in about 48 hours.

7 things to add:

Stephanie said...

Just a bit of warning: Josh did this last week and had complications. His arm is still in pain [and black and blue] and he just had to go back in to check what's going on. Apparently he's bleeding inside his arm. It was the first time he had ever done the machine, so it was a shock for him to have to deal with all of the pain and complications.

Hope it goes better for you!

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Wow, thats pretty neat. I had a really hard time giving just regular blood so I don't think I could do this, but I'd like to know how it goes!

So when are you getting your next tattoo ;0)

Hollie said...

I just donated blood about 2 weeks ago so do I need to wait before I can go and donate platelets?

Rebecca said...

I should think about doing this since I am O-. Do you know how long you have to wait after giving birth? Where do you go? How often can you do it?

Beth said...

@becki - you have to wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth to donate. I gave for Clay about 7 or 8 weeks after having Kaitlyn. I go to Lifesource in Crystal Lake. Whole blood you can give every 56 days. Platelets you can give every two weeks. I am going to ask when I go in how long I have to wait in between in I switch back and forth.

Another interesting fact: Donate a pint of blood and burn about 650 calories!!! I'll take it!

Peaceful Chaoz said...

K, I'm going to ask another question!

When I gave blood my arm got really bruised afterward and felt really awful for about a month! Do you think that it was the way they took my blood and that it would be ok to try again or do you think I'm just a bad giver? Or is that normal?

Its nice to have a vampire friend who likes to take but also give back! ;0)

Beth said...

Well, I don't have all the answers :-) but I will tell you what I know and what I do. Some people bruise easier than others. Considering that a 21 gauge needle is used for a regular blood draw and when giving blood a 17 is used, that's a pretty big difference. Some bruising is inevidible. Usually a month before my first donation, I start taking prenatal vitamins (I am borderlind enemic anyway). Three days before, I up how much milk I drink (I hate milk) and try to eat a very well balanced diet. I have only felt sick a few days after a donation one time and that's because of what I put into my body the day before. I take it easy the day of and the day after I give and make sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If your veins are good, I would give it another go. :-)