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Platelet donation takes patience to benefit patients

Adair Andrew budgets time to donate platelets at the American Red Cross in Asheville. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Adair Andrew budgets time to donate platelets at the American Red Cross in Asheville.

"You can give a whole blood donation in about five to 10 minutes," said Maya Franklin of the American Red Cross. "Platelets takes about two hours."

"It's just that you're lying on a couch for two hours and your body naturally thinks it's time to take a nap, so you do feel a little tired," Andrew added.

But it's worth all the time and effort.

"Blood is taken from one arm," Franklin explained. "It goes through a machine and then your whole blood and plasma are put right back into the arm."

"I feel like it's giving back to humanity, and over the years I've known people who've been helped by platelets," Andrew said.

"Platelets are used by cancer patients when they're going though chemotherapies," Franklin continued. "Sometimes that treatment makes their platelet count lower, so they need platelet transfusions."

"You're allowed to, according to the FDA rule, donate up to 24 times a year, and I space it that way and pretty much stick to that schedule," Andrew added.

It's a life-saving gesture, considering someone in America requires platelets every 30 seconds.

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