Pediatric Heart Surgeries
Did you know that ARUP Blood Services receives orders for more than 300 pediatric heart surgeries each year? If you have donated with us in the past then you have likely received a call at some point asking you to come in and donate blood on certain days of the week to help out a child who is having a heart surgery at Primary Children’s Hospital. There are two main reasons we call our donors and that is for platelet donations and pediatric heart surgery donations.
Each week ARUP Blood Services receives a list of upcoming pediatric heart surgeries from the blood bank at Primary Children’s Hospital. The list will have anywhere from five to as many as ten pediatric patients who need a certain amount of blood and platelets for their upcoming surgery.
All the blood for these patients must be fresh blood which is blood that is less than five days old! That is the main reason that ARUP Blood Services is open seven days a week is to meet the growing needs of pediatric heart surgery patients at Primary Children’s. Since each blood donation takes three days to complete the testing process that only gives us a two day window to receive enough fresh blood donations for each heart surgery. Some patients need as many as 10 donations for their surgery. Many times we will receive an emergency surgery order at the last second during the week to recruit for as well.
Many times these patients are just a few years olds. Sometimes we receive orders for a patient who is just a day old. For HIPAA reasons we can’t give you any specific information about the child other than they are having surgery and that your blood type is compatible and needed for their upcoming surgery. When you add it up throughout the year it takes more than 2,000 blood donations just to help out the pediatric heart surgery patients each year.
So if you ever wonder if there is really a patient in need at Primary Children’s Hospital when ARUP Blood Services calls you we promise there is a little child waiting for your next blood donation. Thanks for helping save lives in Utah!
Here is a sample order ARUP Blood Services receives from Primary Children’s for each pediatric heart surgery patient (again we receive 5-10 of these each week all year long).