United Blood Services strongly urges area residents to donate platelets now to help boost a critically low supply.

RamonBerk

United Blood Services is part of the Blood Systems national network of blood centers. Current system platelet inventories are 50 percent below normal levels—only about a half day’s worth—a situation that’s being felt across the country.

Additionally, Hurricane Matthew has significantly impaired the ability for blood centers in the southeast to collect what patients need there. OneBlood, Florida’s largest blood center, has a severe shortage of platelets and has asked our organization and others for help. Unfortunately, United Blood Services doesn’t have any surplus platelets to share at this time.

“We stand ready to help communities affected by this catastrophic storm once we can get our own platelet supply closer to normal levels,” says Linda Grace, Sr. Donor Recruitment Representative  with United Blood Services.  “We want to be sure our supply is strong so we can meet local patient needs first and then we can help communities in other parts of the country.”

Platelets help control bleeding. They are used in the treatment of patients undergoing chemotherapy, surgery or transplant. Their shelf life is very short—only 5 days—while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days.

A platelet donation takes longer than a whole blood donation, about two hours. Eligible donors may give platelets every 7 days, up to 24 times in a 12-month period.

Call 877-UBS-HERO or 877-827-4376 or call the San Angelo Donor Center at 325-223-7500.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 or 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.