KBC Donors Providing Granulocyte Donations July 7, 2015

Critically Ill Patient in Louisville in Need of Immediate Help

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Blood Center is providing granulocyte donations for a critically ill patient in a Louisville hospital.

Granulocytes are a type of white blood cell used to fight infections. They are prescribed most often to cancer patients when their immune systems are so weak that antibiotics are not working. Granulocytes live only a day or two in the blood so the donation and transfusion process must occur very quickly.

Kentucky Blood Center is the only blood center in Kentucky that performs this specialized process.

The initial request for one granulocyte unit each day for four straight days came in at 11 a.m. on the Fourth of July. Kentucky Blood Center staff then immediately began searching for donors with the specific blood type who are already successful pheresis donors. The first two donations were completed Sunday and Monday, with the other two scheduled for today and tomorrow.

One donor is needed each day. The day prior to the donation, the donor must come to Beaumont Donor Center to receive medication that ramps up the granulocytes and to also complete donation paperwork.

The granulocyte donation takes about two hours, and the donor has a needle in each arm. The granulocytes are then shipped immediately to the Louisville hospital for transfusion.

About Kentucky Blood Center

KBC, founded in 1968, is the largest independent, full-service, non-profit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky hospitals.