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Mellinger hits milestone with platelets donations - KRTV.com | Great Falls, Montana

Mellinger hits milestone with platelets donations

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Mellinger was presented with a plaque to say thanks for the decades of donations. Mellinger was presented with a plaque to say thanks for the decades of donations.
Johanna Mellinger hit a milestone on Monday in Great Falls -- her 400th donation of blood platelets to the American Red Cross. Johanna Mellinger hit a milestone on Monday in Great Falls -- her 400th donation of blood platelets to the American Red Cross.
GREAT FALLS -

Johanna Mellinger hit a milestone on Monday in Great Falls -- her 400th donation of blood platelets to the American Red Cross.

Platelets are used to help cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, trauma victims, and for transplants or open heart surgery.

Mellinger was presented with a plaque to say thanks for the decades of donations.

She first gave blood in 1995, and was recruited for platelets because she has "good veins."

She's given platelets about twice a month since then, which is the most a person can give in a month.

She says her platelets usually stay in Montana but they have gone as far as Las Vegas and North Carolina. 

"Everybody should be able to do this. I look at it as there's 8,760 hours in a year, I'm here for 40 hours during the course of a year, give or take. Everybody can give up a couple hours, it's not that big of a deal. And it's helping somebody," said Mellinger.

Mellinger says she will be happy if she reaches 500 donations - that would be the year 2021.

More information about platelets donation is available on the American Red Cross website, including this overview:

  • Platelets are in constant demand by hospitals.
  • After your platelet donation, they are immediately tested and prepared for delivery to a hospital. On average, platelets are transfused within 3 days of donation.
  • Over 1 million platelet transfusions are given to patients in need each year.
  • Every 30 seconds someone in the U.S. needs platelets.
  • Here’s who they help:
    • Platelets give cancer patients the strength they need to keep fighting. While cancer patients undergo treatment, a major side effect is low platelet count.  Without a platelet transfusion cancer patients face life-threatening bleeding because platelets help blood to clot.
    • Platelets also help patients survive major surgeries or serious injuries. After major surgery or serious injury, patients may need platelets to replace those lost during bleeding. Platelets keep them alive while they recover.
    • Platelets give strength to patients with blood disorders and those with transplants. Platelets transfusions go a long way to help keep these patients going and live more active, healthy lives.
  • Because platelets must be used within five days, new donors are needed every day. That’s why we need you.
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