Beginning January 5, 2021, Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin is launching reoccurring mobile platelets donation sites in Milwaukee’s North Shore region, providing a convenient opportunity for platelets donors in the area. Platelets—known as nature’s bandages—are in constant, critical need and this region lacks a permanent facility for Versiti’s platelets collections.
“Platelets promote blood clotting and are such an important resource, used for treatments for patients of all kinds, including premature babies, cancer patients, trauma victims, and those receiving organ or bone marrow transplants,” explained Denise Dembosky, Versiti’s Director of Donor Services.
The first reoccurring mobile collection site is the Cedarburg American Legion Peter Wollner Post 288 at W57N481 Hilbert Ave, Cedarburg, WI 53012. Platelets collections take place here every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting January 5, 2021.
Donors of all blood types are encouraged to donate platelets. Platelets can be donated up to 24 times a year, as often as every two weeks. More information about platelets donation can be found at versiti.org/ways-to-give/blood-donation/platelet-donation.
Platelets are considered a precious resource – not only do they make up a small fraction of a person’s blood, but platelets are in constant demand, as they only last five days outside of the body. That means a donation will be used by a patient in a local hospital within the week. Versiti supplies platelets to more than 50 area hospitals.
Versiti is seeking additional locations to host reoccurring mobile platelets collections in Mequon, Whitefish Bay and Fox Point. Businesses, churches and schools in these communities are asked to consider supporting this effort by committing a space for collections 8 hours once every week on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. Interested parties should contact Nikki Chalsma, Donor Group Recruiting Manager at NChalsma@versiti.org or 414-937-6173.
“We thank the Cedarburg American Legion for donating their space for this weekly collection and hope that other North Shore organizations consider doing the same so we can grow the number of convenient locations for platelets donors,” said Dembosky.
From beginning to end, the process of platelets collection takes just two hours: Blood is collected using a sophisticated machine where platelets are separated from the rest of a donor’s blood and the remaining components (such as plasma or red cells) are safely returned to the donor through the same arm.
Platelets are named after their plate-like shape, and when activated, develop sticky spikes that help them cluster together to seal off cuts and other wounds.