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Seattle Children’s and Puget Sound Blood Center Open New Blood Lab

July 27, 2011

On-site at Children’s, the transfusion service blood laboratory will increase efficiencies in blood operations and improve patient care 

Today, Seattle Children’s and Puget Sound Blood Center opened a new blood laboratory to serve Children’s patients exclusively. Located within Seattle Children’s main campus and staffed by Puget Sound Blood Center employees 24 hours every day of the year, the facility will bring    the lab closer to the patient. The partnership is unique in that Children’s is the only King County hospital to have an on-site blood transfusion service laboratory staffed by Puget Sound Blood Center.

Children’s will benefit from Puget Sound Blood Center’s onsite expertise in blood typing, cross-matching, and the high-complexity testing required to most efficiently process blood components for pediatric patients.  The new lab will open in stages with many immediate benefits.  When fully operational, the onsite lab will provide greater access to blood components for patients when they are needed and allow more emergency units to be stored onsite.  Puget Sound Blood Center provided more than 13,000 units of blood to Seattle Children’s last year.

The new blood lab was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony where members of both organizations gathered to mark the opening. High resolution photos from the ceremony and of the new blood lab can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/65378284@N06/  

“Being inside Children’s lets us get blood closer to patients to provide an improved level of care, while still capitalizing on the expertise and efficiencies of scale that a big blood center like Puget Sound Blood Center can provide,” said Dr. Meghan Delaney, Medical Director of the new Blood Lab at Seattle Children’s Hospital on behalf of Puget Sound Blood Center. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to collaborate with Seattle Children’s on this new facility that will enable even greater efficiencies in blood distribution to support the unique needs of pediatric patients.”

The new on-site blood lab will receive blood from Puget Sound Blood Center in adult-sized units and then divide them into smaller units – a quarter or an eighth of the adult unit – for the smallest of Children’s pediatric patients. This will enable Children’s clinicians to order blood in smaller units, ensuring ordered blood is used to its fullest capacity. In the past, it might have been necessary to over-order blood in some situations to ensure extra blood was on hand. The onsite blood lab makes such precautionary over-ordering unnecessary.

“We’re taking care of more critically ill children than ever before. Our patients who are here for organ transplantation, stem cell transplants or surgery often require complex blood components on short notice,” said Dr. Dana Matthews, clinical director of Hematology and chair of Seattle Children’s Blood Use committee. “An in-house blood lab allows us to meet our patients’ needs better and faster.”

Nearly 900 people must donate blood through Puget Sound Blood Center every day to meet the needs of local patients. Donating blood takes less than an hour and can save three lives. With 11 permanent blood donation centers and a robust blood drive infrastructure, Puget Sound Blood Center collects and maintains the blood supply for most of Western Washington, providing the right blood components for Seattle Children’s patients and the community when they are needed.

The next opportunity to donate blood at Children’s is August 23. To donate, come to the Giraffe entrance of the hospital between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and visit the Puget Sound Blood Center bloodmobile. Other upcoming donation dates include September 6, September 20 and October 24.

To find other donation opportunities in your area, please call 1-800-398-7888 or visit psbc.org.

About Puget Sound Blood Center  

Puget Sound Blood Center is an independent, community-based nonprofit organization with a tradition of blending volunteerism, medical science and research to improve patients' lives. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia and traumatic injuries depend on Blood Center research. The recognized leader in transfusion medicine, the Blood Center operates the world's largest centralized transfusion service, serves patients in more than 70 hospitals and clinics in 14 Western Washington counties, and provides tissue and transplantation support to 185 hospitals across the Northwest. For more information, visit http://www.psbc.org.

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit www.seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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