South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Ships Blood to Coastal Bend: South Texans Respond to Appeals for Donations; Donor Room Hours Extended

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The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is sending out its first major shipment of blood products to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Joey Abascal of the Hospital Services department at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center prepares a shipment of blood products for the Texas Coastal Bend.

Monday alone, there were more than 700 (donations), almost 400 more than on a typical Monday.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) sent out 350 units of blood on Tuesday in the first large wave of shipments to the hurricane-ravaged Texas Coastal Bend.

Blood drives from Corpus Christi to Houston have been canceled and donation rooms closed following widespread damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

As a result, STBTC and blood centers across the country are sending units of red blood cells and platelets to the region.

In South Texas, donors have responded to appeals since the hurricane made landfall on Saturday, making more than 1,600 donations. Monday alone, there were more than 700, almost 400 more than on a typical Monday.

As part of the efforts to support patients, STBTC has extended hours at its donor rooms in San Antonio and New Braunfels, Texas, staying open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for blood donations through Sunday, Sept. 3. Donors can schedule appointments at SouthTexasBlood.org/Harvey or by calling 210-731-5590.

The donor room in Victoria, Texas, which was directly in the path of Hurricane Harvey, re-opened on Tuesday. Several staff members came to work Monday despite extensive damage to their own homes.

The demand for blood and blood products is higher than normal in San Antonio, as more than 700 patients have been evacuated from Coastal Bend hospitals to facilities in San Antonio.

Blood products are used for a wide range of conditions, from trauma to childbirth to cancer treatment.

All donors will need to have a photo ID. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood.

About the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a nonprofit community blood center that provides blood, plasma, platelets and other blood components to more than 70 hospitals in 40 South Texas counties. It is the largest blood supplier in our region. STBTC has a proud 42-year history serving the South Texas community. The center is a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, a nonprofit organization comprising services for regenerative medicine and research including blood banking and resource management; cellular therapy; umbilical cord blood collection and storage; donated human tissue recovery and distribution for transplant; and testing of blood and plasma products to help patients in South Texas, the United States and worldwide. STBTC has seven donor rooms in South Texas and conducts thousands of mobile blood drives each year. Visit us at SouthTexasBlood.org and BioBridgeGlobal.org.

About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG’s mission is to save and enhance lives through the healing power of human cells, and we are committed to supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. Products and services include blood resource management; cellular therapy; donated umbilical cord blood and tissue recovery services; as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide.

B-roll video from the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is available at the Connect for Life YouTube channel.

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