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Hoxworth Chief Medical Officer issues Critical Need for Platelets

Over the next several days, Hoxworth Blood Center is anticipating a significant increase in demand for platelet transfusions to support the treatment of local cancer patients. In addition to this expected increased demand for platelets, our ability to provide platelets normally derived from whole blood donations has been crippled due to the unavailability of the only blood bag manufactured for this process due to a national recall. This bag shortage means that we need to collect many more platelet products from single individual donors through a process called apheresis using an automated collection machine to meet the demand of local patients. Automated platelet collection allows us to collect apheresis platelet products from a single donor that can help two to three different recipients, but the donation time is longer than for whole blood donation. 

Collecting, manufacturing, and distributing platelets for our community is our responsibility as Hoxworth Blood Center. Past and current donors have been incredible in helping meet the need for blood products, but we need to recruit new blood donors — especially platelet donors — now to help us through this current period as well as going forward into the future. 

Not everyone who is eligible to donate whole blood is able to donate platelets. Unfortunately, women who have been pregnant may not be eligible to donate platelets. Donors must also meet certain height and weight requirements. Find out if you qualify by calling Hoxworth at 513-451-0910. Platelet donations take approximately 1.5 hours to complete and you will be eligible to donate again in 14 days; in fact, platelet donors can donate up to 24 times a year. If you have previously donated platelets, we urge you to make an appointment at your earliest convenience. (Appointments are especially important for platelet donations.)

There is no substitute for human blood products at this time. Platelets, red cells, and plasma intended for patient transfusion cannot be manufactured. Lives in the Tri-State depend on the generosity of 40 volunteer platelet donors each and every day. Please consider joining these community heroes by donating platelets if you are eligible. The lives you save are close to home.