Rock River Valley Blood Center brings double red cell automation to facility

The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) brings cutting edge technology to the area with the introduction of fully automated double red cell collection. Donors can now “double their giving” and save time while providing the blood components most needed for patient therapy. Developed by Haemonetics Corporation, MA, automated collection is a donation procedure that allows the donor to give two units of red cells at one time.

Committed to serving the communities, donors and patients, RRVBC utilizes the latest in blood banking technology. Those familiar with giving whole blood will find the donation experience very similar, and while the individual process takes slightly longer than whole blood donation, with fewer trips to the blood center, donors actually save more time. The donation process changes in that the automated system uses a sterile centrifuge, where blood is taken from the donor, separated, and only the red cells are kept, returning the rest of the blood to the donor.

Donors should be in good health, be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent in Illinois) and have a minimum hematocrit of 40 percent.

Males must weigh at least 130 lbs. and be at least 5’-1”, while females must weigh a minimum of 150 lbs. and be 5’-5”, in height.

For donors, automated collection means more convenience and comfort. Because two units are collected in one visit, donors wait 112 days before returning to donate blood again. Since intervals between donations are extended, there are fewer visits to the Blood Center; fewer needle sticks and fewer calls. A smaller needle is used and the fluid replacement keeps donors better hydrated so the experience is more comfortable.

Patients with serious medical conditions, such as cancer, trauma, and heart disease, benefit from automation because the process allows for achieving a consistent dosage and quality in the products.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center is the sole supplier of blood and related services to OSF Saint Anthony, Rockford Memorial, SwedishAmerican, Beloit Memorial, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, Freeport Health Network, Mercy Harvard, Northwest Suburban Community and Rochelle Community hospitals. Community-minded volunteers donate virtually all of this country’s supply of blood for transfusion.

From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, issue

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