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Here's how local hospitals use blood donations

Blood donations
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 31, 2024

TEMPLE, Texas (KXXV) — "It is a donation right but in the hospital, it's the blood bank, and you don't typically donate to banks so if you think about it, it's an investment into the community," said Dr. Christopher McPhaul, Medical Director at Baylor Scott & White.

Investing in our community's well-being and giving blood is something doctors and blood centers, like Carter BloodCare, encourage to help your next neighbor.

"It's the impact that you have in that person's life, that patient, their family... I always tell people you never know who it is that you are saving," Jessica Amaro with Carter BloodCare said.

Donors must be 16 years or older, weigh over 110 pounds, and be healthy.

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If you have conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, you'll still be able to donate.

Once collected at the blood centers on a regular schedule the blood is delivered to the hospital. Ideally, 1,000 units a day is needed — whole blood is most important for trauma patients who are in the most critical conditions from a car wreck or even a gunshot.

"There's an acronym but it's the massive transfusion protocol which is where the blood bank kind of goes into overdrive and we are sending coolers of product that has very specific ratios to the surgeons or to the OR/ER wherever the patient is located and they are giving it as fast as needed," Dr. McPhaul said.

A, B, AB, and O are the four main blood groups. Every neighbor has a different type. Blood can be donated in 10 different ways through plasma, double red cells, and platelets.

If you have type O- you can donate to everyone, which could potentially help anyone out.

"Platelet donations seem to be rare, they are kind of notorious for being the thing that is donated less that we are often in the need of more," Dr. McPhaul said.