Local Blood Banks Need More Platelet Donations

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 9:12am

MCALLEN - Brad Rinehart is a regular at United Blood Services.  He isn't there giving blood though, he is giving platelets.

"I have a history of growing up in the hospital. So I know there is a big need for this type of thing. I know that there are a lot of hospitals that need blood for operations," said Brad Rinehart, Platelet Donor.

But you're probably thinking, I know what red blood cells are and I know what plasma is, but what the heck is a platelet?

"A platelet are the bodies band aids. They are the ones that go around and kinda plug all the wholes when people are bleeding," said Dr. Kevin Land, United Blood Services.

But the amount of donors for platelets are way down. This is sad, because platelets are needed for the most dire and sick patients.

"Cancer patients they need large doses. So we use this machine and what it does is it takes just the platelets, and gives the red cells and the plasma back," said Dr. Land.

News Center 23's Erin Murray explains.

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