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Step Up to the Platelets campaign underway

Striving to increase its donor base, Blood Assurance is challenging area residents to ‘Step Up to the Platelets’ this month. With donor incentives ranging from T-shirts to drawings, the campaign underscores the importance of contributing platelets, a blood component known for its clotting nature and brief shelf life.

“This campaign is designed to bring awareness and understanding about the need and donation process of platelets,” said Mandy Perry, community liaison for Blood Assurance. “We want the Cartersville community to understand just how important [platelet] donations are to local area patients.

“We seek to have about 20 platelet donors weekly at the Cartersville Donor Center. Patients undergoing chemotherapy, trauma surgery, transplant operations — just to name a few — depend on platelets, and because platelets are in a continual and constant demand, there is always a need.”

Generally, most individuals 18 and older — 16 and 17 with parental consent — who weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate. The platelet donation process spans between 45 to 90 minutes.

“Our need for platelets company-wide has increased,” said Amanda Trammell, Blood Assurance’s Cartersville team leader. “Therefore, we also need to increase our platelet output. A donor can give platelets once every seven days but no more than 24 times in a calendar year. Once the platelets are donated, we only have five days to use them, so therefore the need is higher for this product. We are encouraging our donors to step up and try platelets.”

While every platelet donor will receive a T-shirt during the August campaign, participants 18 and older will be entered in two drawings: a $100 Ace Hardware gift card and a $1,500 travel voucher.

“We are the sole supplier to Cartersville Medical Center and The Hope Center here in Cartersville,” Trammell said. “After the second or third donation, we do a blood test to match the donor up with a cancer patient. When that patient needs platelets or any other product, we contact the donor first. My center has about 25 loyal platelet donors and 75 percent of them are a match to a patient who is currently battling cancer. Donate local and save local lives.

“If they are a member of the Bartow County community and receiving treatment here in Bartow, Gordon or Floyd County, then they are receiving products from us. Blood products are one of the few products that cannot be man-made in a lab, it must come from another person.”

Located at 921 Joe Frank Harris Parkway, the Cartersville Donor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the second Saturday of every month, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To schedule a platelet donation appointment, call 770-334-3261. For more information about Blood Assurance and the process of donating platelets, visit www.bloodassurance.org.

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