PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - The American Red Cross is urging donors to schedule appointments to give blood and especially blood platelets before Hurricane Irene makes landfall in the United States.
The Red Cross says platelets are the fragile cells that control bleeding and can be used by cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy.
“Since platelets have a shelf-life of just five days, it is imperative that there are enough platelets on hand prior to the storm to meet the needs of patients in affected areas,” says Tim Ryerson, CEO, Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region
Platelets are collected through a special process called pheresis. They are also one of three blood components extracted in the lab following your whole blood donation.