who needs platelets
Cancer Patients - chemo and radiation can damage bone marrow, which is where platelet cells are formed. Transfusions can assist in keeping platelet counts at adequate levels.
Major Surgery - recipients may need platelet transfusions to assist in clotting during and after major surgical events such as heart surgery or organ transplants.
Bone Marrow Transplants - when a patient receives a bone marrow transplant it takes time for the new marrow to begin producing platelets. Marrow transplant recipients may need 2-3 transfusions a week during this period to keep their platelet counts at safe levels!
NICU Babies - some babies that are in the NICU develop low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia). This can lead to bruising and bleeding on the surface of their skin and potentially bleeding in the brain. Platelet transfusions can be a lifeline to these fragile patients!
You may have noticed that patients who require platelet transfusions are also some of the most delicate patients. They often have weakened immune systems. Transfusions from as few different Donors as possible can be very beneficial to their recovery.
These are just some of the many reasons why Platelet Donors are so important!