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August 17, 2020

BioBridge Global employee Ken Doyle continues family legacy

Last year, Ken Doyle gave blood 10 times. This year’s goal is substantially higher: 24 platelets donations.

“My mother and father used to donate, and I think it is nice to continue that legacy,” said Doyle, an Instructional Designer with BioBridge Global Human Resources and Learning. “I don’t personally know of anyone that needs a blood donation, but I know of people’s needs, so I donate on behalf of those in my heart and in my memories.”

Pandemic motivations

With the COVID-19 pandemic, blood supplies have been tested across the country. In some places, one- to two-week blood inventories quickly dropped to one-to two-day inventories during the early days of the outbreak. Those shortages just make Doyle want to keep donating.

August 10, 2020

46-month research demonstrates safety of FDA guidance for low pulse rate population

Blood donors with low pulse rates experience fewer negative reactions than the general blood donor population, according to a review conducted at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

Negative reactions – including things like bruising, dizziness or soreness – were reported in just 0.53% of donors who had a pulse rate of 50 beats per minute or less, compared to 3.36% of all donors during the same period.

Following the eligibility change, STBTC wanted to make sure blood donation was safe for donors with lower pulse rates.

Procedure

August 3, 2020

We're launching a monthly series about the artists who contributed to the BioBridge Art Collection. This month's featured artist is F.L. "Doc" Spellmon. Click on the video to see the entire BBG art collection.

A good artist can use his hands to create a painting. An extraordinary artist can transform that painting to an enchanting story that cannot be expressed by words.

Fronzell Lincoln “Doc” Spellmon was extraordinary, an artist with the ability to create remarkable stories and messages through the stroke of his paintbrush.

He discovered his love for art at a young age after seeing pictures from the Bible and other religious books owned by his father, who was a minister. Those fables and biblical stories had a great impact on his artwork later, as he is best known for his nativity scenes and folk art.

July 30, 2020

Dr. Jairo Melo, Medical Director for Pulmonary and Critical Care with Methodist Hospital, treats dozens of patients with COVID-19 every day.

Based on early research, he and his team have been prescribing the antiviral drug Remdisivir and a steroid called dexamethasone to patients, but supplies of the drugs can be tight. So is the supply of another treatment Dr. Melo says he would like to use with every COVID-19 admitted to the hospital – convalescent plasma.

And that’s a resource that doesn’t require a pharmaceutical facility. All it takes is someone who has been sick with COVID-19 to give plasma at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

‘Go and donate plasma’

“If you have had COVID-19 and recovered, or if you know of anyone who has recovered, they should go and donate plasma,” Dr. Melo says. “Your blood has antibodies that may help save the life of someone else, maybe somebody you love.”

July 27, 2020

The typical blood donation takes about one pint from the 8-12 pints of blood in a typical adult. But how does the body replace that blood?

It’s actually a pretty remarkable process.

Red cells

Let’s start with the red cells, which make up 40-45% of the bloodstream. One of the biggest jobs for red cells is carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body. When the number of red cells drops, special cells in the kidneys sense a reduction in the oxygen levels in the blood.

Those cells then secrete a protein that travels through your bloodstream to the bone marrow, which is where blood-forming stem cells are produced. The protein tells the marrow that more red blood cells are needed.

Production of additional red cells begins right away. The body can make up to 2 million new red cells a second, but since they are so numerous in your bloodstream, it takes about 6-8 weeks for them to return to pre-donation levels.

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