Help prevent blood shortages
DALLAS – December 2016 – Every year, there’s often a shortage of platelet and blood donations during the holidays. This year, a number of factors have made the need for blood platelets especially urgent.
“One reason the supply of blood platelets has decreased is that we now have additional required testing of platelets after donation. A rare but serious complication called transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) has been the leading cause of death due to transfusions. The new requirements save lives, but also shrinks the supply of blood platelets available for transfusions,” said medical oncologist Dr. Thomas Froehlich at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, trauma victims, and patients whose conditions require routine transfusions rely on blood and platelet donations from local blood organizations as part of their treatment. Platelets, which are extracted from blood donations, are vital for blood clotting, which helps prevent excessive bleeding in the event of an injury.
To donate your blood or platelets, you contact a local blood center.
Dr. Froehlich is Medical Director at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.
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