Long-time DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) partner Carter BloodCare announced in June that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the North Texas blood shortage is the worst they’ve seen in decades. For the remainder of 2021, DFWHC will post regular blogs detailing the blood shortage and opportunities in the community to donate blood. Spread the word!
Oh, those positive Os: Seeking blood donors with the most common type
Our community blood center, Carter BloodCare, continues to struggle with maintaining blood type O Rh positive (O+). The O+ blood exists most commonly among the U.S. population (38%) and it is the most frequently transfused blood type at hospitals in the DFW area. While a record 30-year blood shortage persists for all blood types, there is extraordinary demand for type O+. If you want to help, but have limited time to visit a blood drive or donation center, here’s one way blood donors with type O+ can double the difference they make for patients.
Double Red Cell Donations
A double red cell donation is a safe, efficient way to collect two units of red blood cells in one visit. Nearly 70% of all blood transfusions require red cells. Patients undergoing organ transplants or heart surgery, those with anemia, and accident and trauma patients need red cells, usually in multiple units.
What’s the donation process like?
Unlike whole blood donations, a double red cell donation is automated. At a donor center, blood is drawn and separated into its components. The red cells are collected – enough for two units – and plasma and platelets are safely returned to the donor.
How long does a double red donation take?
The procedure takes about 30 minutes longer than a whole blood donation; but since a double red cell donation can only be given every 112 days (3 times a year), you can maximize your donations in fewer visits to a donation center.
Here’s why you should consider making your next donation a double red
Red cells carry hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein making it possible for blood to transport oxygen. When oxygen enters the lungs, it attaches to the hemoglobin in the blood, which carries it to your body tissues. When a person has insufficient red blood cells, the body is short of oxygen – the condition known as anemia.
Who can donate double reds?
To qualify for double red cell donation, donors must meet certain criteria, including a higher hemoglobin count. These criteria are reviewed by the phlebotomist at the time of donation. For more information and to schedule your next double red cell donation, text or call Carter BloodCare at 800-366-2834, or visit carterbloodcare.org.