Blood Drives Near Plymouth, and a Surprising Way to Help Patients Kick Cancer

People may be surprised that they can play a direct role in the fight against cancer, and it’s easier than they might think. By donating platelets or blood through the American Red Cross, donors can share their strength and help patients kick cancer.

Platelets are tiny cells that form clots and stop bleeding. About 2 million units of platelets are transfused each year in the U.S., and more than half of all donated platelets go to cancer patients.

“Some cancers and certain types of chemotherapy drugs and radiation can damage bone marrow, where red blood cells and platelets are produced,” said Dr. Pampee P. Young, chief medical officer, American Red Cross. “Cancer patients often require blood products during treatment or after surgical procedures. Platelet transfusions, in particular, are needed to prevent life-threatening bleeding and help cancer patients continue receiving lifesaving treatments.” 

Blood Donations Near Plymouth

Harwinton3/30/2019: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.Harwinton Town Hall, 100 Bentley Drive
Bristol4/11/2019: 11:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.St. Josephs Church, 33 Queen Street
Wolcott4/6/2019: 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Wolcott Senior Center, 211 Nichols Road

Because platelets must be transfused within just five days from the time they are donated, platelet donors have the power to help save up to three lives within days of their donation.

In addition to cancer patients, platelets and blood are needed every day for lifesaving surgeries, traumas and those living with blood disorders. The Red Cross must collect more than 2,500 platelet and about 13,000 blood donations every day for patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide. In the Connecticut Blood Services Region, 48 platelet and 302 blood donations are needed each day.

How to donate platelets

Platelet donation is available at the following Red Cross blood donation centers. Appointments are encouraged and can be made using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org/Cancer or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Local Platelet Donation Center:

Farmington Platelet Donation Center

209 Farmington Ave

Farmington CT 06032

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 7:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Monday: 7:45 a.m. - 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday: 11:45 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

About platelet donation 

During a platelet donation, blood is collected by a device that separates platelets, along with some plasma, from whole blood, and the remaining blood components are returned to the donor. The entire process takes about two to three hours, and donors are encouraged to relax during the donation – Netflix, videos, television and wireless internet are available. Platelets may be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year.


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