Donating More in a Little Less Time
Donated blood saves lives, but have you wondered how many people benefit from your pint?
Mike smith is glad to put his feet up. "I just got off work so I'm kind of tired," said Smith.
But he's not done with a day's work just yet.
Smith is a regular blood donor, and he's recently found donating through Apheresis is a much better use of his time and his blood.
Apheresis works by pulling the blood from the donor, into a machine that spins the blood to separate it into three different parts. Two of the parts are put into these bags for storage, the third part is returned to the donor.
"So you lose less fluid, and we're able to collect more of a product from a donor," said Lori Godefroid, American Red Cross.
Through Apheresis, the Red Cross can actually collect six to ten times the amount of plasma, platelets or red cells from a donor compared to a standard pint of blood.
So, ultimately what Mike is doing is donating 2 years worth of whole blood platelets in an hour and a half.
You should set aside about two and a half hours for apheresis donations. Only about 30 or 40 minutes longer than traditional donations.
"It's easy volunteering you sit here and they give you free cookies and juice," said Smith.
And he gives someone he's never met, a chance to live. Not a bad trade-off.
The Columbia and Jefferson City Red Cross donation centers are set up for apheresis donations.
You do need an appointment to do apheresis.