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Aug 4, 2017 · New Eligibility Guidelines for Blood Donors with Previous Cancer Diagnoses in Blood Donor Program

@nursenell thanks for your comment! We appreciate the significant diversity among the various types & subtypes of cancer. Our cancer deferral practice is donor-centric. The 1 year deferral for most malignant cancers is just where we begin the dialogue of qualifying a potential blood donor.

Aug 2, 2017 · New Eligibility Guidelines for Blood Donors with Previous Cancer Diagnoses in Blood Donor Program

@steeldove Thank you for your question! At this time our Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program does not have the ability to accept blood donors with hereditary hemochromatosis. That said, we are looking into it. Please message me if you would like to talk about this further- thanks!

Aug 3, 2017 · New Eligibility Guidelines for Blood Donors with Previous Cancer Diagnoses in Blood Donor Program

@angieklima At our Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, those with a history of Merkel cell carcinoma are eligible for blood donation 1 year after treatment!

Sep 8, 2016 · The Rise of Apps: Applicability for Blood Donors? in Blood Donor Program

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Given the rapid increase and widespread use of apps, it seems inevitable that there will soon be an app that caters to almost everything, including blood donation. At the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, we are interested in the potential for a blood donor app to make scheduling appointments and managing donations easier for our donors.

The Blood Donor Program at the University of California, Los Angeles recently conducted a study published in Transfusion to determine the readiness and interest level of more than 900 ethnically diverse respondents of various age groups.

Among the respondents, 87.3 percent had ready access to smart phones. Email was chosen by 62.1 percent as the currently preferred method when contacted by the blood center, followed by texting (10.1%). The app features desired by most respondents were the abilities to request appointments 24/7 (76.5%) and to receive appointment confirmations quickly (81.3%). Many were concerned about receiving too many alerts or messages (64.1%) or insufficient protection for personal information (53.5%).

Overall, 67.7 percent of respondents indicated that they were likely to use a blood donation mobile app. Likelihood was not significantly different by sex or ethnicity, and the impact of education level was limited. Donors who currently made donation appointments via telephone or a website were equally likely to use such an app. However, donors older than 45 years were less likely than younger donors and donors with more than five lifetime donations were more likely than less frequent donors to use such an app. In summary, in metropolitan areas, donors are very receptive to using a mobile app to manage their donations.

Would you use an app to schedule and manage your donations?

Sep 1, 2016 · Regular Blood Donation: May Reduce Hypertension and Save Lives in Blood Donor Program

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A recent study in the medical journal, Transfusion, found an association between blood donation and lowered blood pressure. Researchers studied approximately 300 whole blood donors over the course of 12 months. Approximately half of the blood donors had elevated blood pressure at the beginning of the study, defined as a blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHG. Donors gave between 1 and 4 times over the 12-month study.

Interestingly, each donation was associated with a stepwise reduction in the donor’s blood pressure. As a result, those with blood pressures greater than 160/100 who donated 4 times experienced the greatest reduction.

In the same issue of Transfusion, another study reported survival data after ultramassive transfusion.

Ultramassive transfusion was defined as 20 or more red cell transfusions over any two-day period. Needless to say, these large bleeds are typically unexpected occurrences that can rapidly consume the blood inventory at a hospital. When these occur, often blood collection programs like us will issue a special plea for blood donors of certain blood type.

These researchers report that even after consuming many blood products, overall survivability during the subsequent 30 days was 60 percent. Although survival did vary among patient populations, the message is that receiving a significant amount of blood is not indicative of futility.

Reflecting on the results of these two studies, donating blood may have health benefits for the donor and gives someone in our community a chance at life. None of these patients needing an ultramassive transfusion would have survived without the generosity of blood donors. Until we are able to manufacture blood, donors enable these patients to have that chance.

Please contact us today to schedule your donation appointment!

Aug 30, 2016 · HLA Antibody Testing: Maintaining the Safety of Our Blood in Blood Donor Program

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To remain compliant with a new practice standard and continue our focus on blood safety, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program has updated its screening and testing for female blood donors who have ever been pregnant

What’s Changing?

We will now test for certain antibodies in donated blood. These antibodies are called human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies. They are more common in the blood of people who have had a blood transfusion or those who have been pregnant. Some people may have these antibodies for other reasons as well. If testing shows you have HLA antibodies, you may only be able to donate whole blood and red blood cells. This may happen even if you have donated in the past.

Are these antibodies harmful to me?

If HLA antibodies are in your blood, they are not harmful to you. These antibodies are your body’s natural response to your baby’s blood if you’ve been pregnant. They also are a natural response to a donor’s blood if you’ve had a transfusion. However, if HLA antibodies are in the blood you donate, they could be harmful to someone who receives your blood.

Why is this change being made?

Mayo Clinic is committed to lowering the risk of a serious condition called transfusion-related acute lung injury, or TRALI. Additionally, a national agency has included this testing as a new industry standard.

What is TRALI?

TRALI is a rare but serious problem that can result from blood transfusion. If the donated blood contains HLA antibodies, the person who receives the blood reacts to the antibodies. This reaction may cause the lungs to fill with fluid, leading to difficulty breathing and sometimes death.

How will I find out the results of the testing?

It may take several weeks for your test results to be available. If your blood doesn’t contain the HLA antibodies (a negative test result), you will not be contacted and you can continue donating as you had before. If your blood does contain the HLA antibodies (a positive test result), you will receive a letter in the mail. The letter will explain your results and what products you may donate in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program and ask to speak with a nurse.

Aug 18, 2016 · What Does Transfusion Mean To You? in Blood Donor Program

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Transfusion can mean a whole variety of things, depending on your perspective… patient, family member, physician, nurse, and laboratory. Please take a minute to reflect– what does transfusion mean to you?

Please click here: Transfusion in 3 words to print a special form. Write 3 words that describe what transfusion means to you, then take a selfie and share it with the world, using #transfusionin3words.

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