M. D. Anderson Blood Bank Opens New Donor Location
Free Parking, Easy Access, Comfortable Surroundings Thank and Encourage Donors
To make blood and platelet donation as stress free as possible for those giving a gift of life, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Blood Bank is opening a new facility outside the Texas Medical Center in mid August.
The new center at 2555 Holly Hall Road, near the intersection with Almeda St., will open to donors on Aug. 19 and provide free parking and easy access from South Loop 610. M. D. Anderson is closing its donation center at 7707 Fannin St.
Located about three miles south of M. D. Anderson’s flagship campus in the Texas Medical Center, the new donation center is the second neighborhood location to open in the last 18 months. The M. D. Anderson Blood Bank’s first neighborhood donation center is located at the M. D. Anderson Clinical Care Center in the Bay Area in Nassau Bay on the campus of CHRISTUS St. John Hospital.
The new 25,000 square-foot donation center on Holly Hall will provide a comfortable environment for donors giving blood and platelets as well as refrigerated storage for donations and secured parking for six mobile coaches and other vehicles.
There will be 12 stretch couches for blood donors, six apheresis machines for platelet collection and three private interview rooms. Attached to each apheresis donation couch will be a DVD player so the donor may watch personal movie selections during the 90 minutes to two hours of donation time. About 80 staff will be housed in the location to assist donors, schedule drives, process blood and oversee clinical operations.
The new facility opens at a time that the Blood Bank is feeling the pinch of a blood shortage. The summer months typically are a slow time for donations with increased family travel and schools out of session but this summer, recent storms that hit Texas, fires in California and flooding in the Midwest have added to the shortage, said Gary Griffin, manager of the M. D. Anderson Blood Bank.
“To accommodate the growing needs of M. D. Anderson, now the largest transfusion hospital in the United States, we must do everything we can to make donating blood as simple and comfortable as possible for our donors,” said Griffin. “This new facility will allow our donors to park near the door, walk into a relaxing and streamlined environment and donate either blood or platelets. We need and appreciate our donors, and this new facility demonstrates how much we value them.”
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is the largest transfusion hospital in the United States, transfusing more than 164,000 blood components last year. With a significant population of leukemia, lymphoma, anemia and bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients as well as patients undergoing complicated surgeries, M. D. Anderson’s Blood Bank may need to provide as many as 650 units of blood components daily.
For each whole blood donation, up to three M. D. Anderson patients may benefit with red cells, platelets and other components extracted from one unit. Donors may walk into any M. D. Anderson Blood Bank donor room during regular business hours to give, but those who wish to donate platelets are advised to schedule an appointment because of the additional time and equipment required. All blood and platelet donations made at the M. D. Anderson Blood Bank are used exclusively by M. D. Anderson patients.
“We like to keep at least a three-day supply of blood on hand but this summer, we have only been able to have a one-and-one-half to two-day supply,” said Griffin. “Many of our patients need blood and platelet transfusions daily or weekly to keep their blood counts up and their treatments on track. Our blood donors directly impact our patients’ care.”
Besides the two neighborhood donation locations, M. D. Anderson’s Blood Bank also has donor rooms on the main campus. Donors may give blood and platelets on second floor of the Main Building, 1515 Holcombe, and on second floor of the Mays Clinic, 1220 Holcombe Blvd. Parking is validated upon request.
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