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St. Jude volunteer Chris Clark celebrates his 400th donation to the St. Jude Blood Donor Center.

Blood and Platelets: A Different Kind of Donation

St. Jude performs about 800 blood product transfusions each month. You can help a child by donating blood or platelets in Memphis.

By Corey Carmichael; Photo by Justin Veneman

As a contractor, Chris Clark uses the materials and tools at his disposal to build, create and accomplish his goals. So when he considered helping St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he turned to the tools at his disposal: donations of time and blood products.

Clark began donating platelets at the St. Jude Blood Donor Center in 1996. Since then, he has returned to St. Jude for donations twice each month. He also volunteers regularly in the hospital’s patient care areas.

“When you sit with patients, you realize how grateful you are to be in a position to support St. Jude,” Clark says.

Throughout the years, he has donated more than 400 units of platelets at the Blood Donor Center.

“It’s so easy to give platelets,” Clark says, “and there’s no doubt that when you donate platelets, a patient will benefit.”

Every day St. Jude performs about 15 to 25 platelet transfusions for children undergoing treatment. Through Clark’s efforts, the center has saved up to $280,000 by not having to purchase blood products from outside suppliers.

If you live in the Memphis, Tennessee, area or plan to visit the hospital, you can schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets. Call 901-595-2024 or 1-866-278-5833, ext. 2024 or schedule online.

Why give blood or platelets at St. Jude?

  • All products collected at the St. Jude Blood Donor Center go directly to St. Jude patients.
  • By donating blood products at St. Jude, you help the hospital offset the cost of having to purchase blood products from outside sources.
  • Purchasing one unit of platelets from an outside provider costs the hospital between $500 and $700. A whole-blood unit costs about $250.
  • About 800 blood product transfusions are performed during a typical month at St. Jude.
  • A patient whose treatment involves a bone marrow transplant will typically require 20 units of whole blood and 120 units of platelets during treatment.

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