The American Red Cross Is Looking For A Few Good Men

April 21, 2010

The American Red Cross Is Looking For A Few Good Men

Male Platelet Apheresis Donors Needed To Reduce Risk Of TRALI

           The American Red Cross announced today the specific need for male donors to give platelets in support of treatment of cancer patients and for other life-threatening conditions.

          The decision to collect platelets primarily from male donors represents an effort to reduce the risk of TRALI, or Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury, one of the most common reactions to blood transfusion. TRALI reactions are much more common in transfusions of platelets than in red blood cell transfusions. TRALI reactions are most often associated with female donors who have had one or more pregnancies. Women are more likely than men to carry the antibodies associated with TRALI because of exposure to fetal antigens during pregnancy. While current female platelet apheresis donors are continuing to donate platelets, the need to recruit male donors going forward is having a detrimental affect on platelet supplies. More male donors are needed to step up and donate this vital blood component, which has a shelf life of only five days.

         The Red Cross collects platelets at its Burlington Donor Center, located at 32 North Prospect Street, seven days a week through an automated procedure called apheresis. The procedure, which takes over an hour, extracts platelets from the donor and returns the other blood components back to the donor. The entire process, from start to finish, requires close to two hours of time and donors can give platelets every two weeks. Whole blood collections require an eight week period between donations.

          Platelets are collected at the Burlington Red Cross Donor Center by appointment. To find out more information about platelet donation, or to make an appointment, interested donors should call the Red Cross at (802) 658-6400 or 1-800-843-3500.

          Women who are currently platelet apheresis donors are encourage to continue donating platelets. Female whole blood donors of all types continue to be needed every day to help avoid blood shortages.

         The precautionary intervention of recruiting male-only platelet apheresis donors was introduced because the safety of the blood supply is of the utmost importance to the American Red Cross. Every blood product collected can help save a life and the need for specific blood products changes regularly. Donors can assist in meeting the needs of patients by working with the Red Cross to provide the blood products which will best help hospitals and patients.


American Red Cross Donor Center
32 North Prospect Street
Burlington, VT, 05401
United States
44° 28' 53.112" N, 73° 12' 3.006" W
See map: Google Maps