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Platelet donor turns tables on staff; thanks them on the anniversary of his first donation

Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region

May 13, 2014

When Sidman resident Dennis Gressick came in to donate platelets on April 24, he turned the tables on the apheresis collections staff at the Johnstown Donation Center of American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Region Blood Services, and did the thanking.

Dennis celebrated the first anniversary of his first platelet donation by making wooden heart vases for each apheresis staff member – 20 Red Cross employees in all.

“I’m grateful to the staff for being so helpful and friendly in welcoming me to the platelet donation program. They’re great people and I wanted to do something special for them,” Dennis commented.

He added that appreciated receiving a recent communication from Red Cross national headquarters thanking him for his donation, noting that platelet products from a recent donation were used to help treat patients at West Virginia University Healthcare in Morgantown, W. Va., and Marietta Memorial Hospital, Marietta, Ohio. Both facilities are within the Greater Alleghenies Region.

Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows you to give just one part of your blood. Platelet apheresis allows you to donate platelets, the tiny cell fragments that help control bleeding. During this type of donation, an apheresis machine collects the platelets and some plasma and returns the red cells and most of the plasma back to the donor.

A single platelet donation can provide enough platelets for a full therapeutic dose for a patient in need. In fact, some platelet donations yield enough platelets for two or three therapeutic doses. By contrast, it takes four to six whole blood donations to produce a single therapeutic dose. Click for additional information.


From left, surrounding platelet donor Dennis Gressick: Peggy Pringle, Jane Smith, Amber McHugh, Mark Rorabaugh, Alanna Vedock, Sue Bracken and Dawn Maslo.