Platelet donors needed

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Area blood banks say there is a critical need for platelet donations.

We're told donating platelets helps a person's blood clot and is vital to patients with cancer, leukemia and other medical conditions including open-heart surgeries.

Marsh Regional Blood Center employees tell us donating platelets is different than donating blood. The platelets are collected and the donor receives their red blood cells back, so platelet donors are not tired after donation unlike some blood donors.

We're told all donations at Marsh Regional Blood Center stay local. "We're in the need for platelet donors because platelet donors are always in constant need because the shelf life is only five days. We really rely on the local community to provide that, especially this time of year with vacations and travel," says Ray Bell with Marsh Regional Blood Center.

We've learned platelet donors can donate more often than blood donors. For more information contact Marsh Regional Blood Center at 423-224-5888 in Kingsport, 423-652-0014 in Bristol or 423-979-0574 in Johnson City.

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