It’s the gift that can be given year-round. Lee Health Blood Center supervisor Jeremy Puckett says platelets are always in high demand. “We are constantly needing to resupply what’s going out. A lot of cancer patients and we also have some neonates that will use the product. There’s a wide variety of people that need platelets.”
Premature babies, patients undergoing kidney transplants, open heart surgery and chemotherapy also benefit from platelet donations. “If they’re getting chemo, that’s going to eradicate everything in their body like bone marrow. Anytime they clean that out you need to replenish with the platelets,” said Puckett.
Donors can give every seven days. “You’re constantly getting rid of platelets in your body, and new ones are being made on a regular basis,” explained Puckett.
The amount of platelets a person can donate depends on their weight, height and platelet count. “Every collection we’re getting at least one unit. Some donors can give multiple products, up to three,” said Puckett.
Three units could help as many as three patients. But the process takes a bit longer than a blood donation. “This is a machine that will actually remove your blood, spin it in a center, take out the platelets and then return everything back to you,” said Puckett.
For many donors, it takes up to an hour to donate platelets. The ultimate gift that could help save a life.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.