NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) - In a hope to strengthen the local blood supply, the Southcoast BloodBank at St. Luke’s Hospital announced Wednesday its new“Double Red Cell” collection program.
There is a critical demand for red blood cells at SouthcoastHospitals, according to John Laverty, MD, the Medical Director forthe Southcoast Blood Bank. He said supply is short because thecells are always needed for trauma, surgical, cancer and anemiapatients. In addition, they have a short shelf-life.
Now, new technology will be able to collect two units of redcells, in one donation, he said. The double donation process issimilar to conventional ways of donating. The only differences arered blood cells are collected into one bag, while the rest of theblood goes into another. The remaining portion of the blood isreturned to the donor.
The two blood types that are in high demand for red celldonation are types O and B, Laverty said. Type O is the universalblood type and can be transfused with all other types, but peoplewith type O can only receive O back.
“If all blood types are in supply through whole blooddonations, then blood banks do not need to depend on the morecritical (universal) types of blood in emergency situations.”Dr. Laverty said.
The requirements for this process are slightly different fromnormal blood donation with stricter criteria for height, weight,and iron requirements.
Blood donors can call Southcoast Blood Bank to find out moreinformation and to see if you qualify as a good candidate at508-961-5320.
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