How blood leaves one arm for another

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Someone in the coming days will be receiving KTRE Meterologist Brad Hlozek's blood.

"I've always felt it's important to [give blood], especially if you're very healthy," he said.

From Brad's arm the blood is taken to the Blood Center East Texas for processing.

"We'll spin the blood down and separate the red cells and the plasma," said Kyle Pearcy of the Blood Center.

A third component are platelets, meaning the lives of three people can be saved through one donation.

"Basically, our partnership is with our local communities and our local businesses and organizations," Mary Francis Bradford said.

The blood is filtered in a refrigerator which looks like a haunted house prop. Then the units are stored until needed. They don't stay around for long.

"Oh, we get orders pretty much every day from each of our hospitals and they have a set amount that they need to have on hand as they need it, they call us," said Lab Specialist Pam McCain.

"We try to have 20 units of O-positive on hand, that's the most common, are the O-positive and the A-positive, so we try to keep 20 each," said Donna Fountain, a medical technician at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

Blood Center East Texas serves seven regional hospitals. When it comes to the need of blood, though, there's no competition.

Today, a courier picked up from the hospital supplies of the rarer B-negative blood to deliver to another hospital.

"Evidently, there is a patient in the area that's needing several units of blood probably for surgery or trauma," McCain said.

And that circle of life is what satisfies donors.

"I'm here to help out anybody that needs it," donor Connie Reeves said. "It's important."

"It's nice when you know that your contribution and effort can go back and help somebody out that really does need the blood," Hlozek said.

The gesture takes little time on your part and a bit more for the technicians. All worth it to save a life.

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