There are many ways to give – donating money or time or expertise. Donating blood or platelets (or plasma or red blood cells) is an extra special way to give, to literally give of yourself. During the holidays maybe you might consider taking an hour from all the shopping and wrapping and sit quietly while you donate blood. Or better yet, take two to three hours, lay back, watch a movie in a comfy lounge chair and donate platelets. Or consider a new year’s resolution to donate. Your donation saves lives.
I’ve written about donating platelets before and often encourage people to give it a try. Donating blood and/or platelets is crucial for so many reasons. Here is info from the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center website:
A Cancer Patient can require up to 2 units of platelets per week. (And donated platelets only last about 4-5 days once donated, blood can be stored longer.)
An Automobile Accident Victim can use up to:
- 50 units of red blood cells
- 2 units of platelets
- 10 units of plasma
A Liver Transplant Recipient uses on average:
- 25 units of red blood cells
- 5 units of platelets
- 40 units of plasma
A Stem Cell Transplant Recipient can use up to:
- 10 units of red blood cells
- 10 units of platelets with ongoing outpatient transfusion needs
A Heart Surgery Patient uses on average:
- 7 units of red blood cells
- 2 units of platelets
- 4 units of plasma
I hope none of you ever find yourself in any of those situations, but if you do, or it happens to a loved one, knowing there is enough life saving blood and blood products out there will give some relief.
Not everyone can donate (for various reasons) so please call and see if you are eligible, then make an appointment. There are many places to donate around Los Angeles, ULCA’s Center just happens to be nearest to me.
Oh and here’s the part where you get something out of it – other than the joy and satisfaction of contributing a part of yourself – at UCLA (and maybe at other places) they give you thank you gifts of movie tickets or gift cards (jamba juice, starbucks, etc). How nice is that? Plus the yummy juice and cookies waiting for you in the resting area when you are done donating.
Make 2011 a year in which you donate blood or other blood products!
UCLA Blood and Platelet Center
1045 Gayley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA, 90024