For the first time in over ten years I gave blood. It was a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty uneventful, but I felt good afterwards. It’s nice to know that I may be helping someone with my pint of blood.
So I wondered where my blood might prove useful and I ran into this site at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where the Department of Hemetology and Oncology stated the following:
“According to Dr. Diamond, the hematology and oncology department is second only to the cardiothoracic surgery department in the use of blood products for patients. Infusions of red blood cells, platelets and plasma are vital to the care of our patients.
During chemotherapy the bone marrow is suppressed and unable to make new red blood cells that carry oxygen, white blood cells that fight infection, and platelets that allow clotting to occur. Red blood cell and platelet transfusions are essential as they help the child to feel better faster, receive higher doses of chemo that cure cancer, undergo surgeries for tumor resections, and prevent treatment and disease complications that could be devastating.
For the child with sickle cell disease, red blood cell transfusions are used to “dilute” the sickle shaped hemoglobin during a crisis event, to prevent strokes by transfusing on a regular basis and for support during surgical care.
It is safe to say that transfusion support with platelets and red blood cells are essential to providing care to children with hematologic and cancer diagnoses.”