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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Blood Drive for Liam

April 19, 2007

The latest update on the donation needs.

RE: Platelets
Now required. Liam will be going into surgery in the next few weeks and will need platelets. Platelets will be required before and after his surgery.

Re: Blood
Liam will eventually require blood for his upcoming surgery. We would like to encourage you to donate especially if you or anyone you know has O negative as there is always a large demand for this particular blood type. Regardless of the blood type, donors are needed and anything that is donated will be held as credit for Liam.

Any and all donations will be helpful to not only Liam but will also benefit other patients as well.

Below is the information:

Whole Blood Donation

Liam can only take O negative blood because of his age and condition. People can either donate blood or platelets. Blood donated that is not compatible to Liam will be exchanged or swapped and will be held in his name for up to 30 days or until the very last minute when they know that he won’t need it and it will then given to other patients.

Platelet Donation

Platelets circulate in the blood and help control bleeding; due to their condition and/or intensive chemotherapy, some patients do not produce platelets. Until a patient recovers, the need for daily transfusions is critical. Facts about platelets:

- All blood types are acceptable when donating platelets.

- Donation of platelets require more careful timing. Donated platelets are held for 5 days – first 3 days for testing which only leaves 2 day in storage. They time it very carefully – Marion (the blood drive coordinator at Sloan Kettering) will work with the donors on the timing.

- Platelet donors only need 72 hours between donations, where as blood can be donated every 56 days.

- Donating blood takes about an hour, this includes filling out paperwork. Donating platelets takes about 2 ½ hours which includes time filling out paperwork. Products containing aspirin, ibuprofen or similar items can not be taken before platelet donations.

The donation process of platelets is similar to donating blood except that you are hooked up to a needle for a longer time (between 60 – 90 minutes). Your blood goes into a machine which spins out the platelets and re-circulates the blood back into your body. I was told that some people may feel tired or light-headed after donating blood but was told that you won’t experience these symptoms after donating platelets because oxygen is not hitting your blood stream. Platelets can only be stored for 5 days.

Information for Donors

If you plan to donate, please pre-screen yourself by reviewing the eligibility requirements on the website, www.mskcc.org/blooddonations; click on "general guidelines" to begin the review, then scroll to the bottom of the web page & click on "additional donor requirements" & review any section that is pertinent. Additional notes:

- Pregnant women cannot donate blood or platelets.
- Nursing mothers can donate blood but cannot donate platelets.

Since our regular coordinator is not available until May 29th, please call the Donor Room to schedule an appointment and tell them you are donating for Liam Witt.

The details are:

Donation Room Location:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterSchwartz Building Lobby1250 First Avenue(between 67th and 68th Streets)New York, NY 10021

Donor Room Tel: 212-639-7648

Prior to scheduling the appointment, please check the Memorial Sloane Kettering Website to pre-qualify yourself as there are certain restrictions to blood and platelet donors. If you still have questions about eligibility after reviewing the website, please call Mary Thomas at 212.639.3335.

She needs:
- Legal name
- Cell # or Daytime #
- Home #
- Date of Birth

The donor room can take a maximum of 4 people at a time.

Donor Room Hours
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM

Free Parking
Vouchers for parking in Memorial Sloan-Kettering's parking garage are available to our donors at the time of donation. Our garage is located on East 66th Street between First and York Avenues.

Thank you.