As the essential component of blood that controls bleeding, platelets save and sustain the lives of leukemia and other cancer patients, transplant recipients, and people with severe blood loss.
When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets collect at the site of the injury and activate substances in plasma which form a clot and allow the wound to heal.
Platelets are made in your bone marrow along with your white and red blood cells, and once made and circulated into your bloodstream, they live for 8 - 10 days.
With a shelf-life of only 5 days, donated platelets must be continually replenished.
To ensure patient needs are being met, volunteer platelet donors are in constant demand.
After a major surgery or injury, platelets are given to patients to replace those lost during blood loss and assist in the healing process.