Flu vs. Cancer: M. D. Anderson Blood Supply Affected by Oncoming Flu Season

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There's another community consequence to the oncoming flu season besides lost time at work, more school absences and jammed doctors' offices. It means there are fewer healthy blood donors and decreased blood supplies for M. D. Anderson Cancer Center patients who so desperately need transfusions and platelets.

Already this school year, one Houston-area high school canceled a drive, one that was projected to yield up to 120 units of blood. Because that drive was canceled and others could be in the coming weeks, the M. D. Anderson Blood Bank needs your help to replenish its supply.  

M. D. Anderson, the largest blood transfusion center in the world, relies heavily on blood drives at high schools and universities, especially during the fall and winter. The students are generous givers and because of their youth, they're rarely turned away for health reasons. That is until flu season strikes.

M. D. Anderson transfuses more than 190,000 units of blood and platelets per year. To keep the coffers well stocked for hundreds of children and adults who are undergoing chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation and major surgery, about 400 units of blood need to be collected daily.

If you live in the Houston area, please visit M. D. Anderson Blood Bank donation sites at 2555 Holly Hall or M. D. Anderson's Clinical Care Center in the Bay Area at 18100 St. John Drive, on the campus of CHRISTUS St. John Hospital. There is free and accessible parking at both sites. There also is a donation site at M. D. Anderson at the Mays Clinic on the second floor near The Tree Sculpture.

If you don't live in the Houston area, please consider giving blood at your local blood bank. The flu season affects donations all over the nation and the need for blood never diminishes.

For additional information about making an appointment to donate blood or platelets or making arrangements for a blood drive with your company or organization, please call 713/792-7777 or visit on

M. D. Anderson Resources

Learn more about M. D. Anderson's needs for blood donation.
Cancer Newsline audio podcast - Ways to give without money: Blood Donation

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