Join Me to Save Lives

Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Steve Medina is a Red Cross volunteer serving with the Disaster Action Team, in Mass Care, and recently as a part of the Disaster Assessment team for flood victims in Ventura County. But even before becoming a volunteer, Steve was active with the Red Cross as a regular platelet donor since 2018.

“I have many reasons to donate platelets. Losing friends and family to this deadly disease of cancer provides me the courage and opportunity to help others. It gives them a chance for a second chance at life.”

Steve Medina, Red Cross volunteer and platelet donor

Platelet donations are needed because certain cancers and cancer treatments prevent patients from producing their own. Platelets are tiny cells in your blood that form clots and stop bleeding. Platelets are most often used by cancer patients and others facing life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Somewhat different than a blood donation, a platelet donation uses an apheresis machine to collect your platelets along with some plasma, returning your red cells and most of the plasma back to you. A single donation of platelets can yield several transfusable units, whereas it takes about five whole blood donations to make up a single transfusable unit of platelets.

The Red Cross and the nation are facing a crisis for blood and platelet donations. Donating blood takes only a short time, and you can donate whole blood every six months. When donating platelets, an individual can contribute up to twenty-four times a year. Donating platelets requires less than three hours to save a life—one-half hour for checking your vitals and preparation, and two hours of sitting in a comfortable environment.

Ready to Donate? Make an Appointment Today


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