Friday, November 2, 2012

Red Cross urges blood donations


Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The
American Red Cross said more than 360
U.S. blood drives were canceled due to
Hurricane Sandy and asked those not
affected by the storm to give blood.
The postponed blood drives this week
represents a loss of as many as 12,000
blood and platelet products, the Red
Cross said.
"People who are eligible, especially in
places not affected by the storm, are
asked to schedule a donation appointment
in the days and weeks to come," the Red
Cross said on its website. "To schedule a
donation time or get more information
about giving blood, people can visit or call 1-800-RED
CROSS, or 1-800-733-2767."
Red Cross officials said platelet donations
-- used for those undergoing
chemotherapy and organ transplants and
have weakened immune systems -- are
especially needed.
A platelet dose from a single donor
reduces the patient's exposure to multiple
donors and is therefore preferred by
many physicians.
"During a platelet donation, a small
portion of blood -- about a quarter pint at
a time -- is drawn from your arm and
passed through a sophisticated cell-
separating machine," the Red Cross said.
"The machine collects the platelets and
safely returns the remaining blood
components, along with some saline,
back to you. After the donation you can
resume your normal activities, avoiding
heavy lifting or strenuous exercise that
One platelet donation can be worth from
12 to 18 whole blood donations, the Red
Cross said.
However, platelet donations are only
collected at select American Red Cross
Blood Donation Centers and can take
longer than a whole blood donation. The
platelet donation takes approximately 1.5
to 2 hours and may be a single or dual
arm procedure depending on the
collection device used.
Platelet donors shouldn't take aspirin or
products containing aspirin 48 hours
before donation -- in New York three days



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