October 16, 2017

By Kelly McGinty

In most cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor.

Those taken for high blood pressure and allergies, birth control pills, vitamins and diet pills do not affect your eligibility. Over-the-counter oral homeopathic medications, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are also acceptable.

However, there are a handful of drugs that do have an impact on your blood donation. If you’re taking these medications, there are waiting periods following your last dose before you can give blood.

Anti-platelet agents affect platelet function, so if you take them you have to wait between two to 14 days to donate platelets. However, you may still be able to donate whole blood.

October 9, 2017

October 8-14 is International Plasma Awareness Week, when blood and plasma centers across the world try to educate the public about plasma.

People often do not understand plasma or its uses, but it has multiple uses in modern medicine.

Simply, plasma is the liquid that carries the cells through your bloodstream. It’s made up mainly of water, but the many proteins it also carries are what makes it valuable to patients with a variety of conditions.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center normally does not collect plasma-only donations, although the plasma in your whole-blood donation is separated from the red cells and the platelets for therapeutic purposes.

October 5, 2017

When you give blood, you often hear about how it benefits people with cancer.

As it turns out, those benefits are almost immediate.

A study conducted at a cancer treatment center in Italy looked at effects of transfusions of red blood cells in 61 patients who had symptoms of anemia, which is caused by low levels of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the bloodstream. For reasons that often are unknown, people with cancer also tend to suffer from anemia.

La Maddalena Cancer Center in Palermo measured hemoglobin levels in new patients, as well as anemia-related symptoms, including feelings of well-being, fatigue and shortness of breath.

August 4, 2017

One of the most common misconceptions about blood and blood donations is that most of the transfusions go to younger people and those with traumatic injuries.

But the statistics show that is not the case.

The World Health Organization, which tracks blood donation and transfusion worldwide, reports the typical recipient of a blood transfusion in a high-income country like the United States is 65 or older – three-quarters of the transfusions, in fact, go to people in this category.

What are the different types of donation?

Transfusions in high-income countries most commonly are used in conjunction with surgery and cancer treatments, with massive trauma down the list, depending on the country.

July 24, 2017

Virtually all donated blood around the world, including that given at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, is screened for multiple infectious agents following guidelines established at local, regional and national levels.

In the highest-income countries around the world, including the United States, more than a dozen tests are performed on every donation. (A list of tests available through our QualTex Laboratories is available on the QualTex website.)

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