Alex Borges, of New Bedford and a student at Bristol Community College, doubles his donation with the new Double Red Blood Cell donation program at the Southcoast Blood Bank at St. Luke's Hospital. Also pictured Cynthia Beaulieu, …
Updated: Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010, 5:29 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010, 5:03 PM EST
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) - In a hope to strengthen the local blood supply, the
Bank at St. Luke’s Hospital announced Wednesday its new
“Double Red Cell” collection program.
There is a critical demand for red blood cells at Southcoast Hospitals, according to John Laverty, MD, the Medical Director for the Southcoast Blood Bank. He said supply is short because the cells are always needed for trauma, surgical, cancer and anemia patients. In addition, they have a short shelf-life.
Now, new technology will be able to collect two units of red cells, in one donation, he said. The double donation process is similar to conventional ways of donating. The only differences are red blood cells are collected into one bag, while the rest of the blood goes into another. The remaining portion of the blood is returned to the donor.
The two blood types that are in high demand for red cell donation are types O and B, Laverty said. Type O is the universal blood type and can be transfused with all other types, but people with type O can only receive O back.
“If all blood types are in supply through whole blood donations, then blood banks do not need to depend on the more critical (universal) types of blood in emergency situations.” Dr. Laverty said.
The requirements for this process are slightly different from normal blood donation with stricter criteria for height, weight, and iron requirements.
Blood donors can call Southcoast Blood Bank to find out more
information and to see if you qualify as a good candidate at
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