So what’s the buzz about Incept’s RightType donation strategy? Lately everyone associated with blood donation, blood collection, and even blood usage has heard the terms “collect to demand” or “demand-based recruiting/collections,” but not many of us truly know what that means to us.
First, let me start with a little bit of education. We all know what blood type means, so I won’t define that; but to understand demand-based recruiting, you also need to understand the components that make up a unit of blood. Simply put, there are red cells, platelets, and plasma in your blood. Anytime you give a traditional donation— or a whole blood donation — all three of these components are collected, in small quantities.
Medical advancements have improved what is needed to treat patients so much that in many cases we need less of some of the components and more of others. Therefore, what is most important for you to give depends on two very simple things: what components our hospitals need at time of your donation and your blood type.
Because of this “formula,” we may ask you to donate platelets today but plasma another. We may ask you for a double unit of red cells now but platelets next time. The key to successfully fulfilling the needs of area patients depends on your ability to be flexible and donate the right product type at the right time it is needed from you.
You may be asking why this changed all of a sudden. In the past, when blood collection technology required us to draw primarily whole blood, a very extensive process was used after the donation to separate the three components and pool them together with the same components from other donors so that we could make enough volume of each to then send them off to our hospitals. This often meant we had to keep considerably more red cells on our shelves than needed, but we had to draw the whole blood unit to get the platelets and plasma. Now we have the technology to take only the component that is most needed by donors at that time while returning the other components, and even some hydrating fluids, to you. This means your donation is maximized; and you often feel even better after donating, so everyone benefits!
I certainly hope this helps you to understand why we may ask you to adjust what you donate at various times. Be sure to ask your recruiter what the RightType is for you!