Online appeal: Calling for blood platelets donations

I have received a comment from a Peiwen, the originator of the email. She requested to have this post removed. However, I will just edit out the names and the location of the patient.

I have received emails from different sources on a cancer patient needing blood platelets donations for his fight against cancer.

Dear friends,
It is with great sorrow that our dear friend/classmate/junior, M  has been diagnosed with leukemia today. As it is acute leukemia, M will be taking steroids for a week before undergoing chemo next week. It is important now for him to receive blood platelets donation in order to push up his blood level, which is currently extremely low.
Therefore, I urge everyone who is of blood O+ type to kindly step forward to help M get through this tough period. However, as this is different from the normal blood donation, any interested donors will need to note all of the following information:

  • Be between 18 to 45 years old.
  • Weigh at least 50kg.
  • Be in good health and not been on any medication (e.g. antibiotics, aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs) for the last 72 hours.
  • Did not donate blood during past 3mths, no history of diabetes hypertension asthma
  • Had no flu fever cough or sore throat in the past one week
  • Did not travel to India Nepal and other rural countries within the last 6 months
  • Have not been exposed to chicken pox in the last 6 months
  • Willing to spend approx 2 hours during the actual donation process (may be called back more than once)
  • Have a good prominent veins on both forearms that can hold up against the suction of the blood separator machine. For this reason, male donors are preferred.
  • Go through a medical screening.

Aphaeresis
Haematology Centre
Block 7 Level 2
Singapore General Hospital
Outram Road
Monday to Friday : 9.00 am to 4.00pm
Saturday : 9:00am to 11:30am
Sunday and Holidays : Closed

As for the others who are not of the O+ type, you will still be able to extend your help in the following ways:

  • Forward this mail to your other friends and urge them to come forward to donate their blood platelets
  • Pray for M and his family
  • Encourage M and help build up his mental strength in any way possible

Lets all all pray and give strength to M to help him get through this. I am confident with everyone’s help and support and well wishes, M will be fine and healthy very soon!
Should you need any more information, please email me or contact me through my hp. Thank you very much.
Regards,
Peiwen


Hi everyone,
Apologies for the insufficient provision of information earlier on. Below is an extract of an email from V, M’s elder sister. The essential information is also included in the body. Please take a look.
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My brother, M, has just been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). My brother has all along been physically very fit, and enthusiastic about sports. He loves his weekend soccer game with his friends, as well as his love for badminton. He has recently ORD from NS, and waiting to enrol into NUS for his double-degree in Engineering and Business. However he was given this physical and mental challenge, when he is only 20 years old.
A young man like M, with a bright future, plus he’s a born fighter, I know he will be strong throughout the treatment process. As in like other cancers, chemotherapy treatment will be done for M, and this does not come without side effects. His platelets will be destroyed during chemotherapy, and he will need transfusion whenever his platelets count fall low. The information shown below are information provided by Singapore General Hospital for the public to know more about platelets donation.

What is Platelet then?
Platelet is the the smallest of the cells in the blood. It is essential for the clotting of blood.
Who needs Platelet Transfusion?
Patients with blood disorders, leukemia or cancer may need frequent platelet transfusions as their platelets are destroyed after chemotherapy, radiation treatment or stem cell transplant.
What is Platelets Donation?
Platelets donation or platelet-pheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows platelets to be extracted from whole blood though a blood separator machine.
How is Platelets Donation performed?
A needle is inserted into your vein at the forearm after applying local anaesthetic. Sterile procedure tubings are connected to the needle and blood is drawn from your vein into the blood separator machine, which will separate the platelets from whole blood. The rest of your blood will be returned to you to avoid further blood loss. The procedure is painless and will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete.
Is Platelets Donation safe?
Platelets donation is very safe because only platelets are removed from the blood. All equipment that comes into direct contact with the blood is disposable, used only once and thrown away. Occasionally, the donor may experience a slight tingling sensation around the lips and nose, or feel slightly cold during the donation process, but these symptoms pass quickly.
How often can I donate platelets?
You can donate platelets every two weeks but the total number of donations should not exceed 24 times a year.

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Below is the information provided by Charlotte:

When intensive treatment starts, his immune system will be even lower than it is now. The hospital does not allow more than 2 visitors at one go because other patients in the same ward are undergoing chemotherapy sessions and thus cannot be exposed to any forms of germs which can be life-threatening for them. However, his friends may still come in groups though they might have to take turns to see him. For this reason please coordinate and let me know who might wish to visit him on which day and at what time so that we stagger the groups of friends visiting him.

Most importantly, please make sure that they do not bring any flowers as flowers carry bacteria/germs. Melvin is currently able to eat most foods now as long as they are not unhealthy (fried/oily/spicy) or Chinese medicinal herbs though. Those who are sick, PLEASE DO NOT VISIT HIM. Urge them to contribute by donating platelets (if possible) and keeping him in their prayers.

Hygiene is very important so make sure they sanitize their hands before and after leaving the ward. I should be at the hospital from morning till late at night these days, so do let his friends know to call me when they arrive at the ward itself as well so that I can bring them in and let them know the proper hygiene procedures.

Finally, thank you guys for helping me out with this. I really, really appreciate it. I will stay strong so that I can support him in these times, so please do not worry about me. Do keep M in your prayers, for the unassuming role he has been playing in our lives so far. Friends, let’s ALL stay positive and hope for the best outcomes.

Thank you.

Regards,

Peiwen

The email seems legitimate enough and is quite recent, first dated on 11 March 2009. For leukemia patients, platelets are important in their fight against this disease. Though platelets can generally be taken from whole blood donation, it is time consuming and the extraction rate is not as good as going through aphaeresis. Though it is not the practice that blood donors request that their blood should be given to who, indirectly they will still help the patients with the assurance that there is sufficient blood/platelets in the blood bank. So those who are able to donate, please do so.

P.S. Though I am O+ blood type, I am not able to donate any blood till the end of the month. I could have donated from the 5th of March. However, I was having high fever back then. HSA (Health Science Authority) recommends 3 weeks deferral for such cases. Besides, I am currently on medication for a separate infection. Before donating, I urge everyone to check whether they can really donate through HSA’s FAQ.

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