Baystate Health offers two options for donating blood

October 16, 2019
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Community bloodmobile drives are alive and well at Baystate Health.

“By donating blood you will become a hero to someone by making sure there is blood on our shelves when a patient desperately needs it. With just one donation – and blood is something that most people can spare – you could help save more than one life,” said Amy Osgood, Baystate Health’s blood donor recruiter.

Where to Give Blood

  1. Donate at Baystate's Bloodmobile, which travels throughout the community. See the Bloodmobile schedule (pdf).
  2. Donate at Baystate’s Blood Donor Center located on the first floor of Baystate Medical Center's Daly Building. Hours are: Monday from 8 am to noon. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 8 pm. Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Sunday from 8 am to noon.

The Need is Great

Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. At least 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to help accident and burn victims, cancer patients, those having surgery, new mothers, premature babies and many others needing treatment in hospitals and emergency departments across the country. However, only three out of every 100 people in America actually donate blood each year.

At Baystate Health, 100 percent of all blood and platelet donations made to its Blood Donor Program are used locally in western Massachusetts. Each year at Baystate Health, over 5,800 patients receive more than 23,000 transfusions of blood products.

An average blood donation takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes less than an hour. Donors must be at least age 17, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. New donors will be asked to provide a photo ID. Whole blood donors are able to give blood every 8 weeks.

Special Need For Platelets

In addition to donating blood, there is always a need for new platelet donors.

Platelets are important in the control of bleeding and are generally used in patients with leukemia and other forms of cancer, open heart surgery patients, transplant patients, and some trauma patients. Since they must be used within five days, maintaining an adequate supply is always a challenge. Baystate’s Blood Donor Center has state-of-the-art plateletpheresis machines called Trimas that are faster, provide a better end product, and use only one needle.

Whole blood can be donated every 56 days and up to seven times each year. Platelet donors, who take part in apheresis, can donate as frequently as every two weeks, or 24 times per year.

Donors must complete a pre-donation questionnaire each time they donate blood. This is required by the FDA to help ensure that you are safe to donate. Donors may complete their questionnaire on their smart phone or computer prior to visiting the donor center or bloodmobile. The questionnaire, however, must be completed on the same day that the donor intends to donate. Complete the questionnaire ahead of time

Get The Facts

Some additional facts about blood and blood donations include:

  • Each year at Baystate Health, over 6,300 patients receive more than 19,000 transfusions of blood products. 
  • Approx. 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S., and nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
  • As many as 100 pints of blood can be required for a single car accident victim.

To thank donors after giving blood or platelets, they can choose from a variety of gifts throughout the year, such as tickets to Six Flags New England, Dunkin’ gift cards, Big Y gift cards or tickets to The Big E.

Also, if you do not know your blood type, about four weeks after your first donation to Baystate Health, your blood type will be recorded and shared with you in person during your next donation.

To Make an Appointment

Any organization or business looking to host the Baystate Health Blood Donor Mobile can call Amy Osgood at 413-322-4125. To make an appointment at the Blood Donor Center, call 413-794-4600.

Learn more and see the Bloodmobile schedule.
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