MEDIC needs platelet donations as well as blood

MEDIC needs platelet donations as well as blood

Posted:
Tommy Oakley never misses his once-a-month visit, donating platelets at Knoxville's MEDIC Regional Blood Center. Tommy Oakley never misses his once-a-month visit, donating platelets at Knoxville's MEDIC Regional Blood Center.
"Two hours of their time a month and it saves so many people's lives," said Tommy Oakley. "Two hours of their time a month and it saves so many people's lives," said Tommy Oakley.
Platelet donors can donate up to 24 times a year. MEDIC needs 20 to 30 donations every single day to meet the need in area hospitals. Platelet donors can donate up to 24 times a year. MEDIC needs 20 to 30 donations every single day to meet the need in area hospitals.
"No one knows exactly where their platelet donation is going to go, but it's going to help someone," said John Hilsenbeck. "No one knows exactly where their platelet donation is going to go, but it's going to help someone," said John Hilsenbeck.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - As WATE, Star 102.1 and MEDIC's Roll Up Your Sleeve Week continues, MEDIC says they're not just looking for blood donations this week, but platelet donations as well.


Click here to find out more about Roll Up Your Sleeve week including donation locations


Platelets are one of the three components of blood. It's the part that clots to help you stop bleeding, and they are just as important for saving lives.

"It doesn't cost me anything except two hours of my time," said Tommy Oakley.

Oakley never misses his once-a-month visit, donating platelets at Knoxville's MEDIC Regional Blood Center.

It's something he's done every single month for more than 14 years and was inspired to donate after his mother passed away from cancer, so it means a lot to him.

"It's just been something that I felt like was the only thing I could do to memorialize her," he said.

Oakley is one of the hundreds of regular platelet donors that MEDIC is thankful to have. Many have standing one-month appointments, but can give as often as every two weeks.

Their platelets go directly to patients in area hospitals, mostly to those undergoing chemotherapy, which damages the bone marrow where platelets are made.

They need them to prevent or stop bleeding.

"They do this by clumping. That's the first step in the formation of a blood clot," said John Hilsenbeck, chief medical officer with MEDIC.

The platelets are so ready to work that MEDIC has to keep the donations moving while stored to prevent them from clotting.

Donating platelets takes about two hours, but folks like Tommy Oakley don't seem to mind.

"They have videos that you can watch. Books that you can read," he said. "It's more of a relaxing time for you. It really is."

Every hour you give is a life you save.

"Two hours of their time a month and it saves so many people's lives," said Oakley.

"No one knows exactly where their platelet donation is going to go, but it's going to help someone," said Hilsenbeck.

Platelet donors can donate up to 24 times a year. MEDIC needs 20 to 30 donations every single day to meet the need in area hospitals.

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