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PHOTOS:Huntington Beach Man Makes 800th Platelet Donation in Fountain Valley

That gave American Red Cross staffers cause to celebrate.

Patrick Earley donates platelets for the 800th time. Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross.
Patrick Earley donates platelets for the 800th time. Photo courtesy of the American Red Cross.
We may have all donated blood at some time, but how many of us can say we've donated platelets? 800 times?

As of today, Huntington Beach resident Patrick Earley can say that he has. 

Earley, 88, has been a dedicated donor of lifesaving platelets since the early 1990s. Today, he walked into the American Red Cross Blood Services Fountain Valley Donor Center and gave his 800th donation.

That made Red Cross staffers want to celebrate. So instead of tickets to the next comedy show, Earley got balloons and a wall plaque.

"He first became a blood donor during WWII when he served as an allied forces paratrooper," said Red Cross spokesman Nicholas Samaniego. "In 1992, Patrick switched to donating platelets - the clotting component of blood."

Cancer survivors, surgical candidates and transplant patients are among those often treated with platelet transfusions, Samaniego said.

In case you were curious, platelet donation is a 90-minute process in which the donor's blood is drawn and processed in a cell separator, he added. This cell separator extracts platelets and returns the remainder of the blood components back to the donor.


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