By Dr. Chris Gonzalez, Assistant Medical Director, Stanford Blood Center
Apheresis granulocytes are a specialized blood product comprised largely of white blood cells. This product is used in patients with very low white cell counts that have life threatening infections that have not responded to antibiotic therapy. In some patients this is truly their last hope for survival.
Because of the close working relationship between Stanford Blood Center (SBC) and the hospitals we serve, SBC is able to supply this life saving product in a timely manner that generally is not possible from other blood centers.
Our granulocyte donations usually come from our pool of previously qualified platelet donors. These donors have been tested multiple times and are known to be consistently negative for all infectious disease markers.
These donors are also great candidates for granulocyte donations because from the donor’s perspective the collection is very similar to a platelet collection. The granulocyte collection does require steroid premedication the day before collection but the medication is easily tolerated.
Stanford Blood Center extends a big heart felt “thank you” to all our past, current and future granulocyte donors for providing desperately ill patients a last chance at life.