By Elaine Schattner, MD|January 14th, 2011
The other day I wrote on advances in artificial red blood cells and developing platelets from stem cells. But those methods are in early research phases. Meanwhile, many patients need blood donated by adult humans, now.
I have personally benefited from the generosity of blood donors. Some were strangers: In 1974 I received seven units during and after surgery. I cannot thank those kind people directly, because I don’t know who they are, but I am surely grateful, besides forever fortunate that those units didn’t harbor hepatitis or other now-known viruses. In 2003, friends and acquaintances – a college friend’s wife, who over time has become as a cousin; a generous and strong physical therapist who worked with me then, whom I’ve never thanked sufficiently, among others; and family – stepped in and helped me get through another tough procedure by offering those vital pints.