April 14, 2020

cold_stored_plateletsThe South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has delivered the nation’s first unit of platelets with an extended shelf life to Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, thanks to a process recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The “cold-stored platelets” for civilian use are refrigerated within two hours of collection and have a shelf life of 14 days. The platelets are used for the treatment of actively bleeding patients when conventional platelets are not available, or their use is not practical.  

Under current practices, platelets are stored at room temperature and have a shelf life of five days, with the first 48 hours of that time typically required for testing and distribution to hospitals.

April 10, 2020

stbtc_convalescent_plasma_donorA COVID-19 patient at Methodist Hospital Stone Oak on Thursday, April 9 received the first plasma donation in South Texas from someone who has recovered from the infection.

STBTC is collecting “convalescent plasma” donations as part of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational program for U.S. blood centers. The plasma contains antibodies to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and may provide passive immunity to some patients.

“While there are not any proven treatment options currently available for the novel coronavirus, we have patients severely suffering from COVID-19 who could benefit from convalescent plasma therapy,” said Dr. Rick Marple, Methodist Hospital Stone Oak Chief Medical Officer.

April 8, 2020

first_convalescent_plasma_donorLocal real estate entrepreneur David Herrmann on Tuesday became the first San Antonian to donate as part of STBTC’s convalescent plasma program.

The program is designed to collect plasma from people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection and then transfuse it in 200-ml doses to severely ill patients. The hope is that antibodies in the plasma will help the patients fight the viral infection.

A typical donation can help four to five patients. The process recently was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it is part of a national clinical trial.

April 6, 2020

Nine out of ten people in the United States believe organ and tissue donation help with medical breakthroughs, a recent survey reported.

The basic question in the survey asked the level of agreement with this statement: “Donated organs and tissues help researchers make medical and health breakthroughs.” “Strongly agree” was the most popular response, with 62%. The response “Somewhat agree” had 30%.

The survey broke down responses to the questions by four groups as well:

Coronavirus and other respiratory virus outbreaks not found in blood
March 24, 2020

More than 100 businesses and schools have canceled blood drives across South Texas due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

With these countless loss of donations, the blood supply here and across the nation is in emergency mode.

With this amount of uncertainty, it’s understandable why donors ask the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center if coronavirus can be carried in blood.

“People are not at risk for contracting coronavirus, either by giving blood or receiving a blood transfusion, and we’re taking every precaution to ensure our donor rooms and bloodmobiles are a healthy environment,” says Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, associate medical director at STBTC.