Blood drive on campus Today

By Eric Parker

Some complicated surgeries were postponed recently in and around Tarrant County because of a platelet shortage. Platelets are blood cells that are crucial to wound healing, and they have a shelf life of only a few days.

That’s one of many reasons a constant supply of blood donors is critical to our community’s health.

There will be a blood drive at UNT Health Science Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20. Look for the Carter BloodCare bus in front of the Medical Education and Training Building, 1000 Montgomery St.

Blood donors who donate at this event or any time before Sept. 30 will receive a free one-day pass to SeaQuest in Fort Worth. You can sign up in advance here, or just walk in.

“Platelets are used to facilitate clotting, so surgeries where there’s an anticipation of using blood products were delayed until more could be collected from donors,” said Albert Yurvati, DO, PhD, Professor and Chair of the UNTHSC Department of Surgery. “Traumatic injuries, cancer patients, and re-operative surgeries have a high demand for blood transfusions, so shortages like this can result in loss of life.”

UNTHSC’s people have been a stalwart source of donations for more than 20 years, with Carter BloodCare drives on our campus six times annually. The public is welcome to donate blood along with students and employees.

Shortages are a threat not only in our area but also nationwide. Dr. Yurvati says hospitals throughout the U.S. are conducting blood conservation programs in order to reserve donated blood for emergency cases.

“We have to run more blood drives during the summer to make up for the loss” of donors during vacation months when many regular donors are out of pocket and unavailable to donate, says Colleen Horan, a Carter BloodCare representative. “UNTHSC has donated 136 units of life-saving blood so far this year, which is over 400 lives touched in the community” because each donation can save three lives.

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