Morro Bay blood donor reaches milestone


Roger Ludin of Morro Bay joined an elite club Thursday. He donated blood for the 400th time.

Ludin, who teaches mechanical engineering at Cal Poly, said he first donated blood in college after being encouraged to do so by his father.

“It’s something I’m proud of,” Ludin, 65, said of Thursday’s milestone. “I’ve been blessed with good health, and this is a way I can pass it on to other people.”

Ludin is a platelet donor and has been donating blood to United Blood Services of the Central Coast since 1993. Donating platelets is done using a specialized process known as apheresis, which takes a little more than two hours.

Platelets are a crucial part of the blood that helps it coagulate. Cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy often lose their ability to produce platelets and require frequent transfusions.

Platelet donors are often frequent donors because platelets have a shelf life of less than a week. The human body is able to replenish platelets quickly so donors can give at least monthly.