Dengue epidemic increases demand for platelet donations in Rio

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The state Institute of Hematology Arthur de Siqueira Cavalcanti (Hemorio) is launching a campaign to encourage platelet donations because of the dengue epidemic, with the record of more than 168 thousand cases, recorded until March 27th in the state. Before the epidemic, the average was four platelet donors per day at Hemorio, a sufficient number to serve the hospital network. Currently, the blood center needs 10 donors per day to meet the new demand.

The director of Hemorio, Luiz Amorim, explains that platelet donations are essential to guarantee treatment for patients who have a severe form of the disease, as they help control bleeding. “Dengue is usually accompanied by a drop in platelet counts. In severe cases, there may also be bleeding, which is sometimes heavy. In these situations of decreased platelets combined with hemorrhage, platelet transfusion may be very necessary.”

To obtain a bag with a dose of 200 milliliters (ml) of platelets, five blood donations are required. The process of donating platelets is also different from collecting them in common donations. The donor is connected to a machine, called apheresis, where the blood extracted from the vein is sent and filtered, extracting only the platelets. Without this component, the blood returns to the donor’s body. The process takes, on average, one hour.

“Platelet donations are less known among the population and are usually made by groups of volunteers, with an average age range of 25 to 35 years, who are invited depending on the regularity with which they come to Hemorio to donate blood. With this campaign, we also want to raise awareness of the need to donate platelets, which at this time of dengue epidemic is crucial”, assesses Luiz Amorim.

Criteria

Platelet donation has some specific criteria, which are different from those for blood donation. The donor must have 150,000 platelets in their blood, which are identified through a blood count performed at Hemorio. There are specific restrictions for people who have contracted dengue and have severe cases of the disease, who can only donate platelets after one year. In mild cases, the wait is 30 days.

Given the longer duration of the procedure, Hemorio recommends scheduling this type of donation by calling (21) 964638072. Platelet donation runs from Monday to Friday, from 7am to 2pm. The blood center is located at Rua Frei Caneca, no. 8, in the center of Rio.

For other information, the candidate can call Hotline Sangue (3916-8310) which clarifies the prerequisites and doubts, in addition to informing the address of the other 26 collection units distributed throughout the state.

The article is in Portuguese

Brazil

Tags: Dengue epidemic increases demand platelet donations Rio

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