Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day -3 Donate Platelets!!! [Updated x2]

As I write this, Jacob is receiving a blood transfusion. The first of possibly many to come during the transplant process. I'm so grateful for people's goodness and generosity, for without blood donations, many innocent patients could not live. This is the second time in Jacob's life that he has needed blood, and it is probably not his last. As I learn more about Jacob's procedure, I now understand that not only are blood donations vitally needed for these little ones to make it through, but platelets as well. I was just informed that the hospital's platelet supply is extremely low. My nurse even commented that it is "scary." I know many of you are praying for Jacob and have wondered what else you can do to offer your help and love... Jacob, as well as other children going through chemo on our floor need platelets to live. Please call Children's Hospital LA at (323) 361-2441 for questions or appointments concerning platelet and/or blood donations. This is a very real way to put your good intentions to good deeds. You can donate directly to a bank for Jacob if you specify.

The Fludarabine chemotherapy that Jacob has received yesterday, today, and will receive tomorrow has thankfully not caused any outwardly discomfort for Jacob. He is still eating well and has not had any fevers or chills with it. I am so grateful for this as I was anticipating nausea and vomiting with Fludarabine. I can't believe we are three days away from transplant. This morning he started on an immunosuppressant drug that will prevent his body from attacking his new marrow.

I was informed yesterday that he will receive both radiation treatments on the same day, five hours apart. Because of doubling his dose (see our previous post), he may experience hair loss and mouth sores afterall. He is receiving 400 centigray in one day and the maximum amount of radiation allowed for a person is 450, so he will nearly be at the max.

UPDATE, April 13th: Josh called the CHLA blood donation number to get more specific information about who can donate to Jacob based on their blood types, and how often an individual can donate.

If you have either O- or O+ blood, you can make whole blood donations that Jacob could use. Please note that whole blood has a limited shelf life (3-5 weeks). An individual may make a whole blood donation once every 8 weeks.

If you have A-, A+, AB-, or AB+ blood any blood type, you can make platelet donations that Jacob could use. (We've gotten several different answers, but on April 15th we finally got clarification that blood type does not matter for platelet donations at Children's Hospital.) Please note that platelets have a very short shelf life (up to 5 days). An individual may donate platelets as often as every 3 days, but CHLA recommends waiting longer in between platelet donations (the American Red Cross suggests once every 7 days).

For further details on whether you would be a good candidate to donate blood or platelets, please call CHLA's blood donation center at (323) 361-2441.


The LeVangie Family said...

Thanks for keeping us all informed through your blog. I can't even imagine what I would do in your shoes. Your courage and faith is inspiring. I would love to help, but donating blood/ platelets is not something I am able to do. Please let me know if I can drop off a meal or two now that you guys are just up the street from us.

Eric said...

I need to find out whether I can donate platelets. My blood type is O+, but I use two kinds of insulin. Of course, I want to help, but I'll call CHLA first to see what they say.