Posts tagged ‘platelet donation’

How to give back: Save a life – donate blood or platelets

December 3, 2013 | by

The second in a series about how to give, and give back, during the holiday season ...

This time of year brings holiday cheer to many people across the nation, but for hospitals and blood donor centers, such as City of Hope’s Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center, it’s the start of a tough season.

Blood donation

For a gift with ultimate impact, give life. Donate blood or platelets. They’re especially needed during the holidays.

Not only do people take breaks from school and work during the holidays, many also take a break from donating blood and platelets to hospitals. Blood and platelets donations are needed year-round, said Kasie Uyeno, City of Hope’s blood donor recruitment manager, but they’re especially critical during the holiday season.

“The need for blood does not take a holiday,” Uyeno said. “It’s always there.”

Patients at City of Hope rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their survival.

Currently, the Amini Center brings in about 22,300 units of blood and platelets yearly— which is not nearly enough to meet the hospital’s needs.

“The need is always higher than what we have,” Uyeno said.

During the months of November and December, the need is even higher because during those months, blood and platelet donations drop around 25 percent, she said. » Continue Reading

For maximum impact, donate blood platelets – and save three lives

March 20, 2013 | by

Drives for blood donations are a common occurrence, but platelet apheresis — in which the platelets are filtered out of the bloodstream for donation — is considerably less well-known. City of Hope hopes to change that.

The blood-clotting components are essential to cancer patients being treated with a bone marrow transplant.

A platelet donation can support up to three lives and may be as valuable as 18 units of whole blood. (photo credit: Keith Brofsky)

A platelet donation can support up to three lives and may be as valuable as 18 units of whole blood. (Photo credit: Keith Brofsky)

“Platelets are the lifeline for our patients during their transplants,” said Kasie Uyeno, manager of City of Hope’s Blood Donor Recruitment Program. “Until the new marrow engrafts and starts producing blood cells and platelets, the patients are dependent on transfusions … some require multiple platelet transfusions every day for weeks.”

Maintaining a supply of platelets is not easy. Unlike other blood products that can be chilled or frozen, platelets have to be stored at room temperature; this gives them a notoriously short shelf life of five days.

Given City of Hope’s stellar reputation in hematology and bone marrow transplants, it’s no surprise that there is a continuously high need for platelets.  » Continue Reading