WVU Medicine has partnered with The Institute for Transfusion Medicine (ITxM) to provide blood products to nearly all hospitals in the healthcare system effective January 9.
ITxM will serve WVU Medicine through two of its entities, Central Blood Bank and Virginia Blood Services, at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, United Hospital Center, Berkeley Medical Center, Jefferson Medical Center, Camden Clark Medical Center, Potomac Valley Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“As a state, we’ve proven over and over that West Virginians help each other,” Albert Wright, president and CEO of West Virginia University Health System, said. “Giving blood is one of the ways our employees and communities have cared for each other in the past, and we expect that to continue with ITxM. For our part, we remain committed to providing the highest quality care, including blood products, to our patients.”
“We are delighted to be working with this prestigious, internationally renowned health care organization,” said James P. Covert, president and CEO of ITxM. “This partnership is an opportunity to share our vision of being the area’s premier provider of blood transfusion services. We pledge to deliver the highest quality products, services, and operating efficiencies, to result in donor satisfaction and improved patient care.”
Blood transfusions may be given to a person who is bleeding or who can’t make enough blood cells and save millions of lives in the United States every year. They may be needed to treat anemia, for example, or may be given during or after surgery to make up for blood loss.
Cancer patients might need blood transfusions for a number of reasons:
- Some cancers cause internal bleeding, which can lead to anemia from too few red blood cells.
- Blood cells are made in the bone marrow, and cancers that originate in the bone marrow or have spread there from other places may crowd out normal blood making cells, leading to low blood counts.
- People who have had cancer for some time may develop something called anemia of chronic disease, caused by certain long-term medical conditions that affect the production and lifespan of red blood cells.
- Cancer can lower blood counts by affecting organs such as the kidneys and spleen, which help keep enough cells in the blood.
- Surgery to treat cancer may lead to blood loss and a need for red blood cell or platelet transfusions.
- Most chemotherapy drugs affect cells in the bone marrow and can lead to low blood cell counts.
- When radiation is used to treat a large area of the bones, it can affect the bone marrow and lead to low blood cell counts.
Oncology is the largest specialty at United Hospital Center and uses a lot of blood products. Therefore, UHC realizes the importance of blood drives and will be hosting these donor events the first Wednesday of every month. These monthly blood drives are held in Classrooms 1 & 2 at United Hospital Center from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM.