Apheresis Donation

I may have already written about donating platelets before, but since I donated again, I thought I would bring it up again. You can never have too much of a good thing!

When I donate my platelets, it is a 2-hour process. It is similar to donating blood; the blood is fully contained within the series of tubing, the needle goes in and the blood starts flowing out. However, with apheresis, the blood eventually goes back in. There is a series of ‘draws’ as the blood comes out of me, and then ‘returns’ as the blood (minus the platelets) returns to me. In the middle of all of this, a centrifugeĀ is separating the platelets from the blood.

Well, so much for the science class šŸ™‚ I have been doing this for many years and each time I am asked by someone, “Why do you do it? 2 Hours is a long time to give up!” The short answer is that I do it because I can. And I do it because I
hope that if I ever need something from someone in the future that someone else will feel the same way (and if they don’t, well that is ok as well). Right now my health is very good. I have a very high platelet count so I give a triple donation each time I go in. I am not using these platelets, so why not give them to someone who has a need?

I don’t look for thanks. I am not seeking recognition. Most of the times I donate are in the evening and I simply go home afterwards – no one sees my arm bandaged up. My reward is a pack of Lorna Doone cookies. My reward is the feeling I get knowing that I am grateful that I can improve a stranger’s life.

Be Well.

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