Read what drives these selfless donors

Philip Lemmer (left), Terrance Pillay, Susan Jansen and Nicole Curtis are advocates for platelet donations. Pillay is holding a unit of donated platelets.

The process has been successful so far, but the organisation needs more donors, as the number of patients who require platelets is increasing.

“A platelet is used to help clot the blood and seal wounds,” said donor relations practitioner at SANBS, Terrance Pillay.

“If a blood vessel is damaged, platelets clump together to help ‘plug the leak’.”

The process of donating these platelets does not require any other component (red and white blood cells and plasma) from your body.

This is done by a machine that draws the blood from your vein into a disposable kit and processes it through a blood cell separator, where it is separated into different components.

Several people, including cancer, bone marrow or organ transplant, major surgery and trauma and aplastic anemia patients, require platelets.

However, donors need to comply with these requirements:

• Be healthy

• Weigh 55kg or more

• Be between the ages of 16 and 65

• Consider your blood and blood platelets safe to give to a patient

• Not be on aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medication

• Have a platelet count above 200 000 per micro litre. (This can be established by SANBS, which will assist you by using a free pre-test screening to determine your current platelet count.)

Currently, Benoni has around 80 registered platelet donors, one of whom is the youngest donor, Nicole Curtis (17) from Northvilla, who donated platelets for the first time on March 2.

“I decided to donate my platelets because I want to make a difference in any way that I can,” Curtis said.

“It is a one-hour process to help save someone’s life.”

Benoni Agricultural Holdings resident Susan Jansen has been donating blood for 24 years and has donated platelets since June 2016.

“My sister, Wilma van Eeden, has had cancer since March 2016 and so I started donating to help people like her,” Jansen said.

“Donating platelets does not drain your system; I feel healthier and more energetic after a donation.”

Another Benoni resident, Philip Lemmer, has been donating his platelets for several months; and his blood, for several years.

“I have been donating blood since I was 17 years old,” he said.

“It is important to help others.”

Platelet donations can happen every month, but for more information regarding this process or for a pre-test screening, Pillay can be contacted on 011 425 4943.

Also read:

Boost to local blood donors

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Sheina Razack

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