From the Northern California Community Blood Bank:
McKinleyville Barber Shop owner and long time apheresis donor LeRoy Murrell has donated 80 Gallons of blood and blood components!
LeRoy has been donating for over 25 years and as an apheresis donor is able to donate as many as twenty-four times a year. Donors can give platelets weekly, as compared to whole blood donors who can only give every 56 days. One of the other major differences between the two types of donations is that while giving whole blood can take 30-45 minutes, giving platelets is a 90-minute to two-hour process.
Platelets are the part of the blood that causes it to clot, and donations of it are used for a variety of purposes, including to help heart patients and patients recovering after chemotherapy. A whole blood donation is separated into its three main components after it is given -- platelets, red cells and plasma -- and the proportion of each is smaller than what is given during a platelet or plasma donation. During a apheresis donation the three components are separated during the donation.
In recent years the need for platelets has increased while the need for red blood cells has remained constant. The apheresis process allows the Blood Bank to target the most appropriate donation type based on patient need and donor blood type.
LeRoy began donating blood in the military, has donated Whole Blood 150 times and was among the first apheresis donors in Northern California in the early 1990s. For information about becoming a whole blood or apheresis donor, call the Northern California Community Blood Bank at (707) 443-8004 or check the website at nccbb.org.