Red Cross asks for blood, platelet donations during January Blood Platelet Month

TULSA - Every other Tuesday, Karl Seizinger settles into a comfortable lounge chair to spend a couple of hours catching up on paperwork.  At the same time, he gives the gift of life. 

Seizinger donates a blood component called platelets.

“What they do is they take blood out of my arm," he said.  "They run it through this machine and then it spins it and they take the platelets out of the blood then put the rest of the blood back in.”

2NEWS caught up to Seizinger in early January as he made his 275th platelet donation. 

Platelets are used to treat some people receiving organ transplants or with weakened immune systems.  They’re also given to some chemotherapy patients. 

Seizinger began donating platelets after seeing how they helped his good friend, Ronnie, who was battling cancer. 

“I got to see how Ronnie during his battle trying to defeat leukemia, how he would be because of the chemotherapy and such," said Seizinger.  "He would be, I mean he’s be almost out, and then he would go to the hospital and they’d give him those platelets and, and he’d be able to come back and fight another day.”

Seizinger’s friend lost his battle with cancer, but Seizinger never lost his desire to donate. 

The Red Cross tells us those donations make a big difference in the lives of recipients.  They also want people to know Seizinger's regular donations are Making a Difference for countless patients. 

His regular donations are also important because unlike whole blood, platelets have a very short shelf life.  They’re only good for five days. 

Because platelets are only one component of whole blood, donors who give platelets can donate as often as every other week, just like Seizinger does while he catches up on his paperwork.

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