DID YOU KNOW THAT DEPENDING ON YOUR BLOOD TYPE, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE MAY NEED A DIFFERENT BLOOD COMPONENT FROM YOU?
Blood components include, for example, red cells needed for their oxygen carrying capacity; platelets used for cancer patients and those with clotting disorders; and plasma which is a volume builder often used for burn patients.
As more of our donors have become "regulars" - the supply of red blood cell donations has improved. As a result the San Diego Blood Bank is now working to improve the supply of other blood components, specifically platelets and plasma. At the same time, the blood bank is also working to manage its red cell inventory by collecting a consistent amount in each type of blood. Blood types are A-,A+,B-,B+,AB-,AB+,O-,O+.
O negative blood for example, is always needed because if you are O- you are the universal donor and any other blood type can take your blood. If you are AB+ you can receive any type of blood. However, AB donors who are both AB+ and AB- are universal plasma donors.
There’s a lot more to managing the blood supply than most people realize! Hospitals ask for all types of products, including red cells, plasma and platelets. In addition to that, some people who have gotten a lot of transfusions become more difficult to match because their bodies build up antibodies which can cause serious reactions to future transfusions. So special donor matches are sometimes needed and your blood may be that match.
Newborns often need type O – because it is the universal donors and will not cause the baby’s newly formed immune system to have a reaction to transfusions. Also, donors who are O- and CMV negative are very desirable for babies. CMV is a virus that many people carry from being exposed to someone with this virus. It does not affect those with healthy immune systems, but infants and patients with compromised immune systems need blood that is CMV negative.
There is a good chance that the next time you come to a San Diego Blood Bank donor center, you may be asked to change your typical whole blood donation to a platelet or plasma donation. Platelets, in particular, have a lifespan of only five days, so these products are always needed.
If you are asked to make a different type of donation, it means that there are hospital patients that have a specific need for these components in your blood type. It may also mean that the San Diego Blood Bank has an adequate supply of red cells in your blood type, but is critically low in other blood components that you can give.
Also did you know we have "critical dates" when we really need extra donations. That’s because there are times throughout the year when blood supplies decline due to holidays, summer vacations or inclement weather.
During those times, we may also ask you to give double red cells instead of whole blood because we are seeing the blood supply begin to decline in your type.