Carter BloodCare Leads the Mission to Save Lives by Making Transfusion Possible

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Photo © Carter BloodCare

From its roots in 1951, Carter BloodCare has grown into a leader among the nation’s blood centers, handling daily collection, processing, testing, storage and distribution of blood products.

As one of the largest blood programs in Texas, Carter BloodCare delivers more than 440,000 units annually to meet the requirements of hospitals and health care facilities for their patients.

The nonprofit organization is the primary provider of transfusion resources to more than 200 medical facilities in 50-plus counties of North, Central and East Texas. This includes the Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco, Longview-Tyler and Texarkana metros, a service area population of nearly 10 million people.

To meet the constant blood demand for these Texas communities, Carter BloodCare must see 1,500 volunteer donors daily.

To do so, Carter BloodCare has 25 donor centers across the region. The team also conducts between 25 and 30 mobile blood drives daily, totaling over 7,000 blood drives annually.

Patients cannot receive transfusions without volunteer donors

Blood centers are part of the first-response system because blood must be on hand for any life-threatening incident.

There is no substitute for human blood. Without it, medical procedures can be delayed until the required units are available.

Volunteer donors were lifesavers for Zane. Within 24 hours of his birth, he was placed on life support to treat a congenital condition that required many units of blood and platelets. His mother, Ana, said Carter BloodCare donors ensured “my baby would have another opportunity to live." © Courtesy of Carter BloodCare

By donating blood, platelets or plasma, residents help victims of mass shootings and natural disasters; patients receiving cancer treatments; mothers having difficulties during childbirth; children with anemia, including sickle cell disease; older adults with age-related health issues; burn patients; organ transplant recipients; and many others.

In fact, a blood transfusion occurs in the United States every two seconds.

Most medical situations require several transfusion units. Vehicle accident victims can need 50 pints or more of red blood cells. A bone marrow transplant patient could require platelet donations from over 100 people and red blood cells from 20 others.

Up to 25% of the U.S. blood supply is used to help Americans fighting cancer. Transfusions are also needed in one out of every 83 childbirths.

The most important blood type is the one needed by a patient at the time

All blood types are needed, especially type O.

O positive blood can be used in emergency situations such as traumatic bleeding and other critical transfusions.

O negative also is in great demand. As the universal donor blood type, O negative can be used to treat any patient, regardless of their individual blood type.

O negative also is the only type of blood used to treat premature and unborn babies.

It is vital that a safe, sufficient blood supply mirrors the community through a diversity of age, gender, blood type, race and ethnicity. A diverse blood supply ensures patients of various backgrounds and health circumstances can receive the best transfusion match.

© Courtesy of Carter BloodCare

Blood donations typically drop in the summer as students go on break—high school blood drives account for up to 25 percent of the community supply—and families focus on out-of-town vacations.

To fight this seasonal slump, individuals as young as 17—or 16 with parental consent—can safely donate blood with Carter BloodCare; there is no upper age limit for donating. Eligible donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and feel well on the day of their donation.

Blood donation makes a life-changing difference in minimal time

Blood donation itself typically takes less than 10 minutes. The entire process from sign-in to finish takes about an hour.

Eligible donors can support local patients by visiting their neighborhood Carter BloodCare center or blood drive. 

Visit CarterBloodCare.org to set an appointment, see current appreciation gifts and learn about hosting company blood drives, or call 800-366-2834.

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For more than 70 years, Carter BloodCare has been saving lives across North, Central and East Texas.

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