Donating platelets saves numerous lives

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: Life-saving donations needed

By Ashly Custer - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - According to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, 1-in-7 people entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion. It’s also why its always available to those looking to donate blood or platelets.

Platelet donations take about two hours of your day. However, a single bag of platelets is worth more than liquid gold because it could save someone’s life.

"Platelets are blood components that helps the blood clot so if someone is in a traumatic accident or battling blood cancer, those platelets are essential to their treatment," said South Texas Blood and Tissue Center spokesperson Madeline Chalk.

STBTC explained that donating platelets takes a bit longer than the hour it would take to donate a pint of blood, but that’s because the different components in the blood must be separated. Platelets are extracted from the blood while red blood cells and plasma are returned to the donor.

"Platelet donation can take up to two or three bags of platelets from one donation whereas a blood donation is just one bag and one pint. So you are able to save more lives with a platelet donation, a concentrated dose of platelets, than you might be able to with a whole blood donation," said Chalk.

Also, the down time between platelet donations is minimal compared with giving blood. You can donate platelets every seven days or up to 24 times a year. That can be a huge help, especially since a bag of donated platelets only lasts five days.

The center said it is always welcoming new donors because not only are the donations extremely important for patient recovery, but also the need for them is great.

If  you are interested in donating platelets, you can visit or you can also call (210) 731-5590 to schedule an appointment.

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