I usually go to Apheresis (platelet donating) every two weeks or if that's not feasible then at least once a month. It's a pretty cushy experience provided by the American Red Cross. All I have to do is sit there on a recliner, covered in a blanket with a heating pad under my back & watch t.v. for 70 minutes and not move move my arms. When it's over I get to partake of snacks, drinks and sometimes sandwiches that the dear ladies who work on me (Peg & Deb) make & bring in for all of us donating patrons.
Your body will replenish these platelets in about 72 hours as opposed to the 53 days it takes to replenish whole blood. This allows for more freqeuent giving.
Now, you may ask, what is the point of just donating platelets? Why not donate whole blood? I used to donate whole blood. This is a wonderful thing and when I die I hope someone has a blood drive in my honor. The reason I donate platelets is because there is an unwillingness in the general public to give platelets. And they are sorely needed in the medical community. Do you know someone who has cancer, or leukemia? Someone with a blood disease that requires a lot of transfusions? Someone who had to undergo an emergency operation? Most likely these people needed platelets at some point or another.
Receiving platelets is like giving a little adrenaline shot to your blood. It gives it some pep, it keeps you going. It gets you over the bad spot you find yourself in. It keeps you alive to see your loved ones again.
Due to the path my life has taken, I will probably never get to serve in the armed forces. I will probably never get to be the intervening force between an innocent bystander and harm's way.
So donating platelets is my alternative, my way of standing in the gap for someone else. If two hours of my time once or twice a month is all it takes to keep someone alive, then it's worth it. Who knows, maybe you've had to receive platelets. If so, you might have a little Gretta in you.
Anyone with questions about Apheresis and how to give, please leave a comment. I would be more than happy to answer any and all questions.