Blood Donations Serve Area Hospitals
On Monday of this week, The Blood Center of Brazos Valley began operations in its new Component Lab, which represents the area’s first locally stored blood supply. At the Component Lab, life-saving blood from volunteer donors will be stored and processed before distribution to nine Brazos Valley hospitals.
“Less than one year after opening our Neighborhood Donor Center, the Component Lab is the final piece to completing The Blood Center’s vision for the area,” said The Blood Center of Brazos Valley’s director Chris Baker said. “We are self-sufficient and will continue ensuring blood needs are met in this community.”
Previously, Component Lab services and delivery to hospitals were carried out by Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center out of Houston, of which The Blood Center of Brazos Valley is an affiliate. During that time, Baker’s team was making preparations for the Brazos Valley lab and training locally hired staff to manage blood products.
The Component Lab separates donated blood into components and will produce red cells and plasma. This way, a single donation can benefit more than one patient. Red blood cells can help individuals with chronic anemia, for example. Burn and trauma patients frequently receive plasma to help control bleeding.
In 2009, more than 14,000 units of blood were needed at Brazos Valley hospitals. Individuals may donate blood Tuesday through Saturday at The Blood Center’s Neighborhood Donor Center at 1701 Rock Prairie Road.