My platelet count came back last week the same value as before. So, it’s still slightly on the low side, but not getting any lower. The doctors expected it to get much lower in the 3rd trimester, but it hasn’t… praise God! They’ve warned me that there’s always a chance that my platelet count will lower more right before delivery, so they’ll do a quick blood test in the hospital when I arrive. If any emergency arises during delivery (like an emergency C-section or postpartum hemorrhage), I’ll need a platelet transfusion. Chris & I are praying that no such emergency arises and that my platelet count will be within normal range, so that I won’t need platelets. But we’ve also begun to plan a little… we’ve set up a directed donor platelet account with the Red Cross. Essentially, friends/family can donate platelets, which would be held on reserve for me at Arcadia Methodist just in case I need them.
If you’re interested in donating platelets, all you have to do is call the American Red Cross Patient Services Dept at 1800-696-1757. You have to setup an appointment at one of their plateletpheresis centers (they’re all over LA and Orange County). Plateletpheresis is a much longer process than donating whole blood and usually takes anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours. You can learn more about plateletpheresis at:
Here are some eligibility guidelines in the link below. You need to also have not taken any aspirin-containing products for at least 36 hours. They also recommend that you are either a regular blood donor already or you know that you’re not scared of needles since the process takes much longer than a normal blood donation.
Some other stuff to know is:
- Platelet donors do NOT have to match the same blood type as me. They look at other factors within the blood to give me the best match, but there is no platelet donation that would be life-threatening for me (like with a whole blood donation).
- Platelets only last for 5 days. It takes 2 days to process the platelets, so they’re only good for 3 days in the hospital. Thus, if I haven’t gone into labor or I simply don’t need them, your platelets will be used for another patient at Arcadia Methodist (e.g., a chemotherapy patient or a trauma victim).
- Since we have no idea when Caris will make her way into the world, we’ll need multiple staggered donations throughout February. Her due date is 2/14/09, so she’s considered “term” from 1/24 until 2/28. We’re hoping to get donations starting at least on 2/1/09 (meaning that your platelets would be ready at the hospital from 2/3-2/5 – since they only last for 5 days).
If you have any questions, you can ask Chris since he’s donated platelets before! 🙂