***While I am not an authority on the following, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night***
Bonfils does not pay donors for their contributions, whether through whole blood or automated donations, as they are a non-profit organization with the ultimate goal of helping patients in need. While I cannot discount the added value and motivation of receiving cash for one's contribution, in my book it would remove the term donation from the mix. A donation
is defined as A. The making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution B. A free gift.
RHM is correct in that there was, and still on a smaller scale are, some companies which gather plasma. However, these groups operate on a for-profit basis and that plasma is usually used in research and the manufacturing of consumer goods such as make-up among others. Unfortunately, that resource is not used for transfusions for patients, which in the case of plasma can be used to treat burn patients and individuals with clotting disorders.
As for locations
, there are five fixed doantion sites which can perform automated donations or aspherus. This is the process by which whole blood is separated into it's four components - Plasma, Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, and Platelets. They are all located in the Denver Metro area - Lowry, Westminster, Boulder, Denver West, and Highlands Ranch - as the shelf life of platelets is only 5 days (as opposed to 42 days for red blood cells). This, along with the size and cost of the machines needed to do so, make it difficult to bring this opportunity to the mobile drives throughout the state as much of the donated platelets would likely go to waste due to transit times. You can, however, make a whole blood donation at these mobile drives around the state and the other fixed locations along the Front Range - which is where the 25 mile search radius comes in.
Here are just a few interesting stats taken from the Blood Facts
page on Bonfils web-site.
One whole blood donation can save and enhance the lives of up to three patients.
Every two seconds someone in the U.S. requires a transfusion of donated blood.
Less than four percent of Colorado's population donates blood.
Blood products are used in a variety of medical treatments including helping kids with cancer feel better and saving the lives of car accident victims.
Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body and are needed most after significant blood loss through trauma or for patients undergoing surgery or experiencing anemia.
Platelets are essential for blood clotting and are routinely needed to support cancer therapy, open-heart surgery, blood disorders and organ transplants.
After one unit of blood is donated, the body replaces the plasma within 24 hours, the platelets within 48 hours and the red blood cells within 56 days.
A blood donation given to Bonfils is typically shipped to a hospital or community in need within 48 hours of your donation.
Bonfils Blood Center efficiently uses more than 97percent of donated blood.
I hope this information helps and motivates you all to make a difference in someone's life. While it's not the most convenient approach to making a donation (of any type), is is certainly one you can walk away from knowing that you have helped someone else live - and there is no greater gift than that.