LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Want to help save lives? Donate blood and platelets

Over the years I have been a blood donor partly due to the many surgeries my family members have had and because I, therefore, recognized the good that giving blood could do.

A few weeks ago I received a card in the mail from the American Red Cross telling of the urgent need for blood platelets. Now, I had seen the “stores” saying that they took platelet donations but didn’t know anything of their reputation and didn’t really know what difference there was between blood and platelet donations.

However, I did know the Red Cross’s reputation and had previous experience giving blood there so I called them to schedule a platelet donation based on some of their advertising regarding the use of platelets.

For those of you who don’t know, “platelets are the cells in the blood that help form clots and control bleeding” so you can see the need for extra of these during surgeries. The Red Cross reports that “after donation, platelets have a life span of only five days.” Thus, you can see why platelets are so greatly needed when you consider how many surgeries are performed each day.

My appointment took two and one-half hours. During that time I was comfortably seated in a modified reclining chair/bed with my choice of TV programs or movies to watch and some great nurses seeking to provide anything else I needed. I chose to read a book I had brought.

Afterward, they showed me what I had donated and explained that my platelets could possibly help several people survive anything from cancer to various surgeries. Wow! Something that my body could spare could help save lives. And I could give up to 24 times in a year.

Now, I probably won’t do that, but I can tell you that The American Red Cross will see me again to donate blood and platelets. Oh, did you know that you can donate both at the same time? I saw a gentleman with a needle in both arms doing just that.

Thank you, sir, for my brothers who have had several major surgeries, and my sister-in-law who is currently fighting Stage 4 breast cancer.

I am asking that many more of you would step up to give some of these precious life-giving donations to help save lives. Thank you and God bless.

Linda Demorest

Fort Wayne