Understanding Blood Collection and Use in Kansas City

Logan MarneyGuest Post by Logan Marney, B+, Account Manager and Donor Recruitment at Community Blood Center

Community Blood Center Logo

Who is Community Blood Center?

Community Blood Center was created BY the Kansas City community FOR the Kansas City community. Over sixty years ago, there was not a blood collection and distribution agency to serve the greater Kansas City area and its surrounding counties. Instead, hospitals were responsible for collecting their own blood. If you had a rare type of blood, or there was a shortage in your area, your life was in jeopardy. That is why a group of community-minded physicians, hospital and civic leaders decided to organize Community Blood Center–to serve the needs of patients in the community, and ultimately to save lives.

Community Blood Center: Blood Donation Community Blood Center: Volunteer Driver

Who does Community Blood Center Serve and Why is it Important?

Community Blood Center supplies 95% of the areas blood products to hospitals such as The University of Kansas Medical Center, Saint Luke’s Health Systems, Children’s Mercy, Advent Health, Olathe Health and many more. Because one in three individuals in their lifetime will need a blood product, it is important that is always available on the shelves. About 3,600 units are sent out to meet the demand of KC community hospitals EACH WEEK– that’s a lot of blood, right!?

Blood products may be used In a variety of ways such as treating patients with anemia, cancer, severe burns, traumas and during or post surgery. The amount of blood also varies depending on the reason they need it.

Community Blood Center: KC Wolf Donating at Arrowhead Stadium Community Blood Center: Ned Donating

Some examples are as follows:

Automobile Accident

50 units of blood

Heart Surgery

6 units of blood
6 units of platelets

Organ Transplant

40 units of blood
30 units of platelets
20 bags of cryoprecipitate
25 units of fresh frozen plasma

Bone Marrow Transplant

120 units of platelets
20 units of blood


20 units of plasma

The Life Cycle of a Unit of Blood

Community Blood Center: Blood BoxBlood products begin their life saving journey at one of the many Community Blood Center mobile or fixed blood collection sites when a volunteer donor presents. After completing a list of medical and travel eligibility questions, the volunteer donor is set up on the bed where their unit is collected by a trained phlebotomist.

One unit can save up to three lives!

The collected unit is then packed and tested in the laboratory to ensure the safety and quality of the product. Once testing is complete, it is taken by a Community Blood Center volunteer directly to an area hospital to be used in a lifesaving procedure! Red blood cells must be used within forty-two days, platelets only last five days and plasma may be frozen and stored for up to a year.

How to Get Involved

Throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Blood Center has been in a chronic blood shortage. This is the longest recorded blood shortage and has impacted the supply of the entire country. 60% of the US population is eligible to donate but only 5% of those individuals actually do!

Ask yourself, what do you think is the number one reason why people don’t donate blood?

Many may think a fear of needles. It is actually that they are never personally asked. Having a conversation with a friend, family member or coworker and inviting them to donate may be just what they are missing! Blood donation takes just one hour and keeps the greater Kansas City area going strong! Interested in getting involved by attending a mobile blood drive or one of the seven conveniently located Community Blood Center locations or have questions about blood donation? Please contact me, Logan Marney, at 816-977-7959, lmarney@cbckc.org, or visit www.savealifenow.org.

Sited Source: www.savealifenow.org