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Tehachapi hosted its first platelet drive


September 29, 2018

Photo provided

Robert Cummings donating platelets.

There are many ways to give back to your community, but donating blood or platelets is one very powerful way! On Saturday, Sept. 22, Tehachapi hosted their first ever Platelet Drive in Stallion Springs. Houchin Community Blood Bank has been partnering with the Tehachapi community for more than 35 years. This was the first mobile drive where Houchin Community Blood Bank collected both blood and platelet products. Most people have heard about blood donations, but many are unaware of the importance of donating platelets.

Just as donating blood saves lives, donating platelets can save lives as well. Most individuals receiving platelet donations are those with cancer, trauma victims and premature infants. Unfortunately, platelets have a five-day shelf life, making it difficult to keep up with the demand.

Donors like Christapher Trimble, Robert Cummings, Judy Bratis and Carrie Storm were the first to participate in the platelet drive during the Stallion Springs mobile blood drive. With the use of the Trima machine, an automated apheresis process, a small amount of blood is taken from the donor, separated by component, platelets and plasma are kept while the machine returns the red blood cells to the donor. It would take eight regular whole blood donations to collect one unit of platelets needed for one transfusion, while the Trima machine can collect three transfusable units in one donation.

However, the platelet donation process does take longer than a regular whole blood donation because platelets are the smallest portion of the blood and the machine is doing all the work of separating the blood components.

Cummings' blood type is AB+ and he was excited to donate platelets for the first time. "Since I am AB+ donating platelets is another way to give back to my community," Cummings explained.

Houchin Community Blood Bank collected 27 lifesaving units of blood and 10 platelets at the mobile drive. For more information please contact Account Manager, Joy Invina-Hernandez at

(661) 616-2522.


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