Remember the gift for all seasons

As hearts swell with the season, our charitable donations rise. In this time of personal philanthropy, resolve to make a regular donation at the bank as well – the blood bank.

Because of the perishable nature of blood and its components, the supply must be replenished regularly.

“So now is the time for a New Year’s resolution to donate blood at routine intervals, preferably twice a year,” says Dr. Ravindra Sarode, a pathologist who heads the Transfusion Medicine and Coagulation Laboratory at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

“To jog your memory,” he says, “you might schedule your blood donations to coincide with your birthday and wedding anniversary or some other personal and perennial event to time your visits to the blood bank at five- or six-month intervals.”

“The shelf life for platelets is only five days and, therefore, there is often a shortage of this critical blood component, especially during a long holiday season,” Dr. Sarode says. “When you donate whole blood, you help three or four patients because whole blood is then divided into three or four of its major components, such as red cells, platelets and plasma. You can choose to donate either whole blood or only platelets or red cells.”

Media Contact: Kristen Holland Shear

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