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.)

Have your travels put you at risk for vCJD? Find out here.

June 12, 2017

Not many regular people will run a marathon once a month for a year to generate awareness for bone marrow donations. But Jason Cox is not a regular person.

Jason started a non-profit company called Marrow Match about eight years ago. His only goal is to get people to sign up for the bone marrow registry, so one day they can match with a patient and save lives.

“Marrow Match has gone through ups and downs over the last eight years,” he said.

Bone marrow donations are near to Jason’s heart because when he was 9 years old, he needed one. He had a disease called severe aplastic anemia.  Although it was not classified as a cancer, it would have shut down his immune system and been equally as fatal. Thankfully, his older brother was a match and donated his bone marrow.

June 5, 2017

Throughout many trials and triumphs, San Antonio’s Kinsey family has learned to never take life too seriously. They live and laugh through every day with the mindset that any and every moment is precious and important.

It’s a lesson that has not come easily.

Betsy Kinsey, the loving mother of three children, has had to deal with all three of her children’s diagnoses with immune-system-destroying cancer.

For the rest of their lives, Steven, 18, Bethany, 16, and Jonathon, 11, will need frequent blood and tissue donations in a process that is long, arduous, and exhausting. When receiving the donations, the children are given medications that make them sleep for several hours. But the waking result of their treatment is a painful one, as headaches and nausea plague them, like the effects of chemotherapy.

May 30, 2017

Mosquitoes can be a nuisance – and, with concerns over the Zika virus, much more.

In states like Florida, where nearly 1,100 people contracted Zika in 2016 according to state officials, many are looking for a better way to get rid of mosquitoes than mosquito repellant or spraying. One way: The mosquito fish.

The mosquito fish is a small dull fish that, among other things, eats mosquito larvae. It has been introduced into a variety of ecosystems specifically to fight growing mosquito populations.

States like California and Florida are giving away mosquito fish for use on private property. Officials there also are advising residents to take other measures to keep mosquitoes out of their yards, including cleaning roof gutters and keeping pools chlorinated.