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Chemotherapy increases the demand for blood components

donors,” he said.

The ICS and transfusion service want more donors and more donations to be made by means of aphaeresis.

The transfusion service revealed that chemotherapy usually destroys the patients’ bone marrow cells where platelets are produced and make the patients susceptible to spontaneous bleeding.

4-10 platelet transfusions per week may be needed for a leukemia patient undergoing chemotherapy. Almost 60 units of platelets will be required for a person undergoing bone marrow transplant. Every year nearly 373 new cases of leukemia are detected.

Morgan Hackett, 44, from Dublin, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2000 and later diagnosed with leukaemia in 2005.

He said: “My leukaemia treatment experience put previous treatments for non-Hodgkin's in the shade. They normally involved five hourly treatments every month during which my white and red blood cell counts and my platelets and neutrophil counts went to zero.

“I could not have committed to my chemotherapy without the blood products including platelets being available. I simply would not have survived.

“I just lay there feeling better when receiving the platelets and feeling worse as my own blood factory could not yet do the job so I received more platelets as required.”

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