Platelets help the blood to clot and are very important in surgery and for treating cancer patients. So demand is high for these little life-saving cells. But matching supply with demand is tough because platelets last just seven days (while red cells have a shelf-life of 35 days). Having regular donors of A-negative platelets is a huge help, so please consider signing up like Sam Hill - whose story you can read below.
Sam Hill, 24, an airline pilot from Leeds, has been donating blood for around six years and more recently platelets. His dad and younger brother (pictured with Sam, below) donate as well, and all three are A-negative!
Sam began donating platelets last year. He says, “Giving platelets is easier than I expected. You’re looked after really well by the team. It’s basically the same as giving whole blood; you just have a bit more time to read a book or watch a bit of Netflix.”
Even if you’re not a platelet donor, your A-negative blood donations are still important. With these donations, we separate the blood into red cells, platelets and plasma, and pool the platelets with other donations to create a unit for patient transfusion. If you’re an A-negative blood donor and are able to do so, please donate on a Friday – this allows us to make the most of your vital donations.
Did you know that there’s up to a 1 in 3 chance that your blood relatives will share your A- negative blood group? That’s almost 4 times more likely than the average person.
So we’d love it if you could ask your relatives to donate. Please share this story with them or encourage them to register at blood.co.uk. Alternatively, visit http://platelets.blood.co.uk or talk to us by calling 0300 123 23 23.
If you are an A-negative whole blood donor, would you consider becoming a platelet donor? Just one donation can help the lives of up to three adults or 12 children. Platelets can be taken at one of our 22 donor centres – to find out more, click here or call us on 0300 123 23 23.
A-positives can help by donating platelets too. So if you are group A (negative or positive) and would be interested in giving this ‘liquid gold’, please mention it at your next whole blood donation, where your veins can be assessed and a sample taken.
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