EASY: Michael Freeman smiles as he makes a platelet donation at the Ipswich Red Cross Blood Donor Centre with nurse Kari Potter. The centre is now equipped to take platelet donations.
EASY: Michael Freeman smiles as he makes a platelet donation at the Ipswich Red Cross Blood Donor Centre with nurse Kari Potter. The centre is now equipped to take platelet donations. Claudia Baxter

Machines a boost for vital blood supplies

THE arrival of two bizarre-looking but important machines means Ipswich residents will now be able to donate potentially life-saving blood platelets.

Donor Michael Freeman became the first person to undergo the one-hour process of having his blood extracted and separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets at the Red Cross' Ipswich donor centre last Tuesday.

The 20-year-old's red blood cells were returned into his body, however the platelets and plasma were delivered into separate bags, which will be used to help people suffering all kinds of ailments.

In particular, the platelets - which help blood to clot - will be used to help people with a low platelet count as a result of chemotherapy or leukaemia.

Platelets can also be used to treat people with liver disease, severe trauma or major surgery.

For more information, visit donateblood.com.au or call 131495.



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