Donating blood for MD Anderson cancer patients: 12 things to know

Our cancer patients need approximately 150 units of red blood cells and 110 units of platelets each day. MD Anderson Blood Bank depends on local blood and platelet donors to meet this need. And, this need is especially great right now during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most blood and plasma donations are used to help our patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Some replace blood lost during surgery. But all blood donations are critically important to our cancer patients’ recovery. Here are 12 questions that I commonly hear from potential blood donors. Who can donate blood to the MD Anderson Blood Bank? Healthy individuals who weigh more than 110 pounds, are at least 17 years old and meet the basic criteria. But potential donors must also meet other requirements to qualify. For instance, women who are currently pregnant are not eligible to donate blood. Neither is anyone who has ever had cancer before — except for two very specific types: basal cell carcinoma and cervical cancer in-situ. Can I give blood if I have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure? Absolutely. Can I still give blood if I’m taking medication? Yes. Certain medications may disqualify you from donating, but the list is updated frequently. That’s why we encourage you to contact us first if you’re interested, instead of just assuming you can’t give. Most medications are acceptable. For instance, the blood thinner Plavix used to require a 30-day wait, across the board. Now, it only requires a two-week wait for someone donating platelets. There’s no whole-blood restriction. Can I still donate...

Donating blood for MD Anderson cancer patients: 12 things to know

Our cancer patients need approximately 150 units of red blood cells and 110 units of platelets each day. MD Anderson Blood Bank depends on local blood and platelet donors to meet this need. And, this need is especially great right now during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most blood and plasma donations are used to help our patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Some replace blood lost during surgery. But all blood donations are critically important to our cancer patients’ recovery. Here are 12 questions that I commonly hear from potential blood donors. Who can donate blood to the MD Anderson Blood Bank? Healthy individuals who weigh more than 110 pounds, are at least 17 years old and meet the basic criteria. But potential donors must also meet other requirements to qualify. For instance, women who are currently pregnant are not eligible to donate blood. Neither is anyone who has ever had cancer before — except for two very specific types: basal cell carcinoma and cervical cancer in-situ. Can I give blood if I have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure? Absolutely. Can I still give blood if I’m taking medication? Yes. Certain medications may disqualify you from donating, but the list is updated frequently. That’s why we encourage you to contact us first if you’re interested, instead of just assuming you can’t give. Most medications are acceptable. For instance, the blood thinner Plavix used to require a 30-day wait, across the board. Now, it only requires a two-week wait for someone donating platelets. There’s no whole-blood restriction. Can I still donate...

Donating blood for MD Anderson cancer patients: 12 things to know

Our cancer patients need approximately 150 units of red blood cells and 110 units of platelets each day. MD Anderson Blood Bank depends on local blood and platelet donors to meet this need. And, this need is especially great right now during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most blood and plasma donations are used to help our patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Some replace blood lost during surgery. But all blood donations are critically important to our cancer patients’ recovery. Here are 12 questions that I commonly hear from potential blood donors. Who can donate blood to the MD Anderson Blood Bank? Healthy individuals who weigh more than 110 pounds, are at least 17 years old and meet the basic criteria. But potential donors must also meet other requirements to qualify. For instance, women who are currently pregnant are not eligible to donate blood. Neither is anyone who has ever had cancer before — except for two very specific types: basal cell carcinoma and cervical cancer in-situ. Can I give blood if I have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure? Absolutely. Can I still give blood if I’m taking medication? Yes. Certain medications may disqualify you from donating, but the list is updated frequently. That’s why we encourage you to contact us first if you’re interested, instead of just assuming you can’t give. Most medications are acceptable. For instance, the blood thinner Plavix used to require a 30-day wait, across the board. Now, it only requires a two-week wait for someone donating platelets. There’s no whole-blood restriction. Can I still donate...