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Old 12-27-2007   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 566
HELP SAVE A LIFE - Donate Platelets or Blood today

Donating blood or platelets helps to save lives each and every day. I can think of a few buzzards off the top of my head who have benefitted from the availability of blood / platelets in the past. This is the time of year that supplies often run low as donations dwindle during the holiday season - but the need does not diminish accordingly, in fact, it actually rises.

Currently in the Denver metro area there is a patient awaiting a bone marrow transplant who is utilizing 8 units of platelets a day. Platelets are a part of whole blood and can be separated during donations and are essential for blood clotting and are routinely needed to support cancer therapy, open-heart surgery, blood disorders and organ transplants. The shelf life for this resource is very short and this individual has until early February before his transplant can be ocur.

I would strongly encourage anyone with the time and will to do so to call Bonfils Blood Center to schedule an appointment. The number is 303.363.2300 There are many reasons that you may think you cannot donate and the folks at Bonfils can answer any questions you might have. There are a limited number of appointments available daily with locations in Boulder, Denver West, and Lowry (old Stapleton area). Keep in mind there are several weeks that this individual will need your support, so you don't have to sign up for tomorrow, but anytime in the next few weeks woud be greatly appreciated.

Platelets are not the only way you can help either. Here are a few Blood Facts you might not be aware of.

I'll be kicking it in the chair tomorrow afternoon and I hope to see some of you there in the near future.


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Old 12-27-2007   #2
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
when i was in college, there was a place called sera-tec they paid for platelets. $20 each donation. does bonfils or anyone else in colorado pay for platelet donations? when there is money involved people are way more willing. sera-tec had a line out the door every day.

where are there places in the mountains to donate platelets? i tried using bonfils search page to find a donation center, but found nothing. i could only search 25 miles away though.

actually, now that i thought about it for a few minutes, i think that sera-tec extracted blood plasma, not platelets. it's been over a decade since i was there, and even longer than that since i had a biology class. if i remember correctly, plasma and platelets are two different things.

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Old 12-28-2007   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 566

***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.
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Old 12-28-2007   #4
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
unfortunately they don't come to steamboat, i searched again and their location finder didn't return any results from now until after ski season.
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Old 12-28-2007   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 566
SB dates

I gave my "source" at Bonfils a call and it sounds like they come up to the Yampa Valley Medical Center 5 times a year. The '08 dates are on Thursdays - 1/31, 4/10, 6/12, 8/14 and 11/13.
I ran the same search and came up empty the first two tries but was successful on the third attempt. It sounds like they have a glitch in their web-programming.

It's likely that it's not often enough, but it's up to local organizations & companies to host & co-promote drives and that's all that the folks in SB feel they can do - but gotta give them props for doing what they can. In case anyone's wondering, RHM did and does donate....

I'm not an employee of Bonfils, so if there are any specific questions I'd reccomend anyone interested contact them directly at 303.332.6262

To bring it back to point; If you are in an area that offers the ability to do so and have some free time on your hands, please take the time to donate platelets as there is a patient who is in DIRE need and will be so for roughly 4 more weeks.

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