Blood donations needed in summer, too
July 31, 2015 | by Denise HeadyEvery summer, hospitals nationwide experience a shortage of blood donations. This summer is no exception. Nearly 1.7 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, and many of those patients will need blood transfusions during their treatment. Patients at City of Hope alone rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their treatment and survival. “Due to the nature of our patients and treatments here at City of Hope, we require more transfusion support than your typical hospital,” said Kasie Uyeno, manager of blood donor recruitment at City of Hope’s Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center. This summer, the Blood Donor Center especially needs O positive and O negative blood types, as well as platelets, which are always in demand because of their short shelf life. Uyeno said the summer and winter months are the most difficult time for collections, due to donors' travel and changes in their schedules.“High schools and colleges are where we collect the majority of our whole blood, so when the students are on break, we have to rely heavily on the community to help with donations,” Uyeno said. With blood supply low, it's important to donate now, before the inventory reaches a critical state. “Each and every donation of blood or platelets that is made to City of Hope goes through ‘infectious disease testing’ to ensure its safety,” Uyeno said. “Those results can take anywhere from two to three days to receive, so the donated unit will have to wait until deemed safe. So it’s imperative we have a healthy supply now because when the crisis hits, the donated units are not available right away, which is when they are needed most.” ** To donate blood for City of Hope, visit www.idonateblood4hope.org or download the mobile app from iTunes and Google Play. The new mobile app allows donors to request an appointment, keep track of their donations and milestones and receive notifications on current promotions and events. ** Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting our website or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what's required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.