Blog

August 26, 2019
what_happens_to_blood_donations

One frequent question we get asked at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center on a regular basis is “What happens to my donation?”

If you make a whole blood donation – the most common type – your blood is separated into three components: red cells, platelets and plasma. Each are used by doctors for different treatments. You also can donate just platelets or red cells.

August 19, 2019
Blood_Across_Borders_Blog

Amid the historical tensions between Israel and Palestine, blood centers and hospitals have formed an alliance to share blood across borders.

The story of this unique partnership was featured in the August issue of American Society of Hematology.

The cooperation falls under the haunting reality of the acts of violence, terror, and warfare that citizens experience from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Magen David Adom (MDA) manages the blood supply of Israel. MDA conducts lifesaving missions transporting blood to ailing citizens and troops in hospitals across war zones.

August 12, 2019
stem_cell_therapy_magnets_blog

Researchers in Japan are working on a novel way to make sure mesenchymal stem cells wind up in the right place when repairing cartilage.

Researchers at Hiroshima University showed that by equipping MSCs with a special iron type of iron oxide nanoparticles, they can be attracted to a specific location in the body with a magnetic field.

The report, “In Vitro Safety and Quality of Magnetically Labeled Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Preparation for Cartilage Repair,” was published in the journal Tissue Engineering.

“I have not heard of this before,” said Scott Jones, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global. “We use magnetic particles for nucleic isolation, so it makes sense you could use it to move cells.”

The study used MSCs from bone marrow and the process was tested in eight patients.

August 5, 2019
myths_about_blood_donations_blog

Here are some myths and realities about the number of times you can give blood every year:

Breaking down acronyms with the experts who work with them day in and day out
August 5, 2019
qualtex_test_tubes

Lorena Aranda, Director of the Immunohematology Reference Laboratory, oversees the testing, training, and procedures of the San Antonio and Atlanta labs for QualTex Laboratories. She answers the question “What is IRL?”

What is IRL?

IRL stands for Immunohematology Reference Laboratory. The IRL was originally named Special Procedures when the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center opened in 1974 in San Antonio. The name changed in 2009. A second IRL opened in 2011 at the Atlanta QualTex Laboratories facility.

The labs in San Antonio and Atlanta perform routine and complex immunohematology testing on patient, donor and source plasma samples, as well as cord blood. The lab operates 24/7/365.

The IRL is able to provide services that aren’t always available routinely in hospital blood banks. Types of testing and services done in the IRL include:

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