Yoder resident Dwayne Higdon recently reached a milestone – he donated platelets for the 100th time. A faithful American Red Cross platelet donor, Higdon schedules his platelet donations as often as he is able. He says, “I wish I would have started when I was younger. I know more people would donate platelets if they understood who they can help.”
Dwayne started donating as a traditional whole blood donor, but after he heard of the need for platelets he was easily persuaded to try a different type of blood donation. Now, he says that it is his goal to get the word out about platelet donation. When asked why he chooses to donate platelets instead of whole blood, Higdon replied, “We all know someone touched by cancer. I listen to those stories and they just tug at my heart; everyone needs to respond somehow and this seems to be my way.”
Platelet pheresis uses a cell separator to collect only platelets and returns the other blood components to the donor. The concentrated dose of platelets collected through platelet pheresis is as many as six to eight times the amount collected in a traditional blood donation. Platelet products are primarily used by cancer patients. When a patient is having extensive chemotherapy, the production of blood cells is affected and the platelet count may drop to a critical level.
Cariel Warren, team supervisor for the local American Red Cross Blood Services, was on hand to congratulate Dwayne on his accomplishment. “We are so thankful for our platelet donors. We truly appreciate their level of commitment and the time that they sacrifice on a regular basis in order to ensure that platelets are available for the patients in our community.” Sims added, “The need for platelets and blood products is constant.”
There are two locations for platelet donations in Fort Wayne. Please call (260) 480-8299 for more information or to schedule your platelet donation appointment.
Fort Wayne Donor Center:
1212 E. California Road
Monday: 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Lutheran Hospital Donor Center:
7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 107
Monday through Wednesday: 12 noon – 6 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday: 6 a.m. – 12 noon
Sunday: By appointment only
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