Dango said the center isn’t doing any platelet drives right now, but always needs more donations.
“It’s open year-round and they’re always looking for donations,” she said. “If you bring your friend to donate, you get free movie tickets.”
Peedin said the class has been focusing on getting people to donate platelets and a big part of that is putting a few misconceptions to rest. She said platelet donation is a whole other ballgame — one that takes a lot longer, but has significantly reduced side-effects.
“It takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, because we are only taking platelets, and returning the rest to you,” she said. “That makes a big difference in how our donors feel walking out the door.”
Peedin said she loves to see athletes in particular donating platelets, because it shows that it’s a much less strenuous process.
“Some of my students will come in and donate before an exam, or go to the gym shortly after donating,” she said. “Even though it does take longer, people really do feel physically better after donating platelets than after donating whole-blood.”
Bridgit Schmidt, donor recruiter for the Blood Donation Center, said demand for platelets has been on the rise.
“We have a strong presence on campus,” she said. “Even if we’re only asking one donor at a time, we are just constantly on campus handing out the information and having the conversation with any student who will listen.”
Schmidt said she’s hopeful that clearing up the difference between platelet donation and regular blood donation will convince more people to come out and donate.
“Most people just need to be invited, then they’re willing to help,” she said.