Do you ever wonder what happens after you donate blood?
Lifesaving whole blood donations are often directly transported to in-house laboratories, much like the Brigham’s Blood Bank, which is tucked away at the end of a long corridor alongside the Garden Café at 75 Francis St.
A high-performing transfusion service, the Blood Bank works with the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center to support multiple clinical services by preparing more than 50,000 blood products for Brigham and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patients annually.
“What the team does here is integral to patient care everywhere,” said Richard Kaufman, MD, medical director for both the Blood Bank and Kraft Center. “Our technicians are extremely dedicated and have the best interest of the patient at heart; they understand what it takes to rapidly provide quality products, especially for trauma patients and those with acute blood needs.”
After the Kraft Center collects and draws whole blood, the Blood Bank manufactures it into red blood cells, platelets or plasma units, which are then tested, packaged, labeled, stored and issued. The lab also performs pre-transfusion compatibility testing and evaluates for antibodies against specific blood groups. This careful attention to quality and safety is particularly important for patients with compromised immune systems or complex illnesses.
“None of what we do could be accomplished without the generous and dedicated support of volunteer blood donors; their contributions are significant,” said Barbara Gramolini, a senior blood bank technologist with more than 40 years of service with the team. “We truly rely on donors and welcome them at any time, and we greatly appreciate their sacrifice and donation.”
Most individuals are eligible to donate blood and, under advisement of a health care provider, can safely do so every eight weeks. To donate at the Kraft Center, located at 35 Binney St., email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-632-3206. Walk-in appointments are also available.