Advanced Blood Transfusion Support

The Transfusion Services Department provides advanced blood transfusion support for patients in the hospital and in the Outpatient Department. The College of American Pathologists and the American Association of Blood Banks accredit the transfusion service. It is staffed by medical technologists who have special training in antibody identification, compatibility testing and blood component preparation. The transfusion services laboratory operates 24 hours a day to meet the needs of our patients.

To contact the Blood Bank and Transfusion Services Department, please call 956-632-4258.

Medical technologists who supervise the transfusion service have specialty certification in blood banking. Pathologists with training in transfusion medicine oversee the operation of the department and are available to the staff for consultation. We select blood components that best fit the needs of the individual patient. Our blood supply is provided by donor centers that are licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Autologous Blood Donations

The blood supply in the United States is subjected to such extensive testing that it is currently regarded as the safest blood transfusion system in the world. Some patients may, however, wish to participate in an autologous blood program, where they donate their own blood days or weeks before a scheduled surgery. Then at the time of their surgical procedure, they can be transfused with their own blood, thus avoiding many, but not all, risks associated with transfusion.

Our Transfusion Service Laboratory has made arrangements with FDA-licensed blood centers in the region to enable our patients to participate in such autologous blood programs. Patients who wish to have their own blood available for a scheduled surgery should discuss with their physician who can counsel them as to whether or not they would be medically able to donate for themselves. If the patient and physician decide that autologous donations would be appropriate, then the patient would contact the Transfusion Service Lab to obtain the details on how to arrange such donations. It is very important that patients contact the lab before making any arrangements with any donor facility or hospital to schedule their donations.

Directed Blood Donations

Sometimes patients cannot donate blood for themselves and would prefer to have a family member or a close friend donate blood specifically for their use. The Transfusion Service Lab can also help patients arrange these "directed" or "designated" donations. Again, patients should discuss this with their physician, who must authorize such donations, and then call the Transfusion Service Lab for information and assistance.