Platelet donations are needed in East Tennessee

Platelet donations are needed in East Tennessee

Posted:
Margaret Lyon donates platelets eight times a year at MEDIC. Margaret Lyon donates platelets eight times a year at MEDIC.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Supplies of blood and platelets are down in East Tennessee so MEDIC Regional Blood Center is trying to restock its shelves during Roll Up Your Sleeve Week.

Margaret Lyon donates platelets eight times a year at MEDIC. She's done this for many years and has now donated more than 20 gallons.

"I think this is one way you can give back to the community that doesn't cost you anything but time," Lyon said.

Platelets cause the blood to clot, according to MEDIC public relations Director Christi Fightmaster.

Often the donated supplies go to patients receiving cancer treatments. "Chemotherapies will deplete your body's ability to produce platelets. So a lot of the time, these platelets are going to cancer patients to boost their blood levels," Fightmaster explained.

The process of donating platelets is about the same as donating whole blood. The needle is the same size. The main difference is the centrifuge that breaks the blood up into different components.

"We are able to just take your platelets and your red cells, and your plasma will actually be returned to you through that same needle stick, and it's a way for us to get enough platelets we need to help a patient in one of our area hospitals," Fightmaster said.

You can donate platelets every two weeks. The process takes about two hours, and the donation can save a life.

Lyon says it doesn't hurt. She just relaxes and sits back to read or watch TV.

"It's easy. It's completely painless once they get the needle through the skin. It doesn't hurt, and it's something you can do to help other folks," Lyon said.

To donate platelets you must go to the MEDIC building locations. Only blood can be donated at the blood mobiles.

MEDIC has two locations in Knoxville: 1601 Ailor Avenue near downtown and 11000 Kingston Pike near Pittsburgh Paints. 

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.