Special to the Register
In times of crisis, as we have seen with the recent tragedies in Boston and West, people are motivated to help in any way possible. They donate money, they donate clothing and supplies, and they donate blood.
In the case of the latter – blood donation – the outpouring of assistance – all at one time – may actually not be the best for those involved.
In times of crisis, blood banks, like Carter BloodCare, which serves North Texas Medical Center, relies on the blood supply already on its shelves to meet immediate patient needs. That’s why ongoing blood donations to blood banks, like Carter, are needed all year long.
The blood center looks to the greater community for hosting blood drives and creating opportunities for volunteer blood donors to give this lifesaving gift. This helps keep the blood supply ready, whether the need for blood products is large-scale in response to a community tragedy, or to care for ongoing medical and surgical transfusion support.
Donated red blood cells have a shelf life of only 48 days. Donors may only donate once every 56 days. It is indeed a delicate balance of supply and demand.
North Texas Medical Center is hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, May 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Classrooms. For the first time, North Texas Medical Center donors will be able to donate platelets in addition to whole blood.
Platelets are the blood product that help blood clot and prevent bleeding. Cancer patients use more blood products, including platelets, than any other patient group in the Carter Blood Care service area. Platelets have a short shelf-life and must be used within five days of being donated.
Carter BloodCare’s volunteer donors provide lifesaving blood for patients at over 200 healthcare facilities in 58 counties in North, Central and East Texas, including Cooke, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant counties. In addition, they provide the blood needs of M.D. Anderson and are one of three blood centers supplying the U.S. military. Carter is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, licensed by the Food and Drug Administration and is a member of America’s Blood Centers.
Donors receive free mini-physicals and can track their cholesterol levels on Carter BloodCare’s website. Carter also provides the opportunity for donors to take advantage of double red cell donation – a procedure that allows a donor to give two units of packed red cells versus the traditional single unit.
Carter provides online scheduling so that donors can schedule their time to donate and reduce or eliminate possible waits. For online scheduling, go to www.carterbloodcare.org - Donate Blood - At Community Blood Drive - and type in your zip code.
Walk-ins are welcome, but those with appointments will be seen first.
For more information on donor eligibility, call Carter BloodCare at 1-800-DONATE-4 or visit carterbloodcare.org. There is also donor information available in the front lobby of North Texas Medical Center.
For assistance in scheduling, contact Gayla Blanton, 940