Donate blood for special needs
People suffering from various chronic illnesses and disorders often require frequent blood transfusions. Over time, however, patients can develop reactions to certain antigens when they receive transfusions from multiple donors. These patients may develop antibodies that destroy foreign blood and, as a result, can no longer receive blood from certain donors, even if their blood types match.
At Memorial Blood Centers, we take extraordinary steps to serve the unique needs of these special patients. Through our advanced scientific laboratories, we perform sophisticated tests to determine which antigens are absent or present in blood. Donors who have been typed are then matched to specific patients. And when the need arises, the right blood is there to match the patient who needs it most.
Consider the many ways you can help:
HLA-matched platelet donation
Cancer patients, who often undergo multiple treatments for years, may develop antibodies to foreign antigens and require platelets specifically matched to their unique set of Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA)—critical components in the immune system’s defense against bacteria, viruses and parasites. When your HLA-type proves to be the best match for a patient with a similar HLA profile, you may be called upon to make a special donation to meet a specific patient’s time-sensitive need for platelets.
Learn more about platelet donation.
Sickle cell donation
In the U.S., about one in 500 African American children are born with sickle cell disease, and approximately one in 10 carry the trait. In addition, one in 1,000 to 1,400 Latino babies are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Multiple blood transfusions can be the only relief from frequent episodes of pain and complications, but only certain blood donors can give blood to patients with sickle cell disease. Click below to find out whether you may be the right donor to help sickle cell patients.
Stem cell donation
Stem cells are immature cells found in the bone marrow and blood stream that later develop into blood cells. Memorial Blood Centers provides collection, processing, cryopreservation (freezing), storage, and infusion support services as part of a community autologous bone marrow transplant program involving several area hospitals. If you are signed up to donate hematopoietic (blood) stem cells with Be the Match (National Marrow Donor Program) and you are found to be a HLA match to a patient with leukemia or a blood disease, you may be asked to donate stem cells at Memorial Blood Centers as part of the patient's treatment plan. Your blood stem cells will be transfused to repopulate the patient's bone marrow after the patient undergoes high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) is a genetic condition that may result in the body absorbing too much iron from food. To prevent complications, these patients often benefit from regular blood donation. For physicians needing to request therapeutic blood collections for their HH patients, please complete the downloadable form, attach evidence of genetic testing, and fax the documents to Memorial Blood Centers using the fax number provided on the order form.
Other special donations available:
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call us at 1-888-GIVE-BLD to learn more or to schedule an appointment for a special donation.
To learn about becoming a reagent donor or to speak directly to a member of our Reagent Donor Program call 651-332-7350.