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Medic offers Farragut connection

Medic Regional Blood Center recently opened a new donation center in Farragut at 11000 Kingston Pike, and is actively seeking civic-minded residents for donations.

Christi Fightmaster, spokes-person for Medic, said the new Kingston Pike location accepts whole blood donations, but specializes in platelet donations.

“Platelets in the blood are what cause clotting,” she said. “Whole blood has a shelf life of 42 days, but platelets have a shelf life of five days. We do a great job of balancing the need and the draw.”

Fightmaster said the blood center uses a machine called the Amicus Cell Separator to divide the blood into red blood cells, plasma and platelets. The red blood cells and plasma are returned to the body, while the platelets are harvested for


“It takes about two hours to do it,” Fightmaster said. “ Most people find it a relaxing experience. They don’t lose any volume in their body.”

She said patients call the main number to make a reservation to donate platelets, since it takes a couple of hours. When they show up, they are ushered into a cushy sofa-chair with an attached television with built-in DVD player. Donators can relax, enjoy a movie, and give the gist of life.

“Platelet donations have big advantages,” Fightmaster said. “It takes one platelet donation for one in need versus six pints of whole blood to make one donation.”

She said physicians can make a platelet supply from one donation, or from six pints of whole blood. They prefer to use platelet donations.

The new location came about as a result of a survey of platelet donators.

“We polled our existing platelet donors and asked them what they would like to see,” Fightmaster said. “They said what they would like to see was a more convenient location. We feel this is a very convenient location for several counties, including Knox, Blount and Anderson counties.”

The new West Knox location does not mean the end of mobile donations. Fightmaster said the mobile bus would continue to host blood drives at different locations, including Farragut Town Hall.

“Right now what we’re short of is O negative,” she said. “It’s the universal donor, but only six percent of the population has that blood type.”

To make platelet or whole blood donations, call 865-524-3074.


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