When Marie Fuesel was treated for leukemia eight years ago, she needed donated blood products more than 100 times.
Theyd give me my chemotherapy, Id stay in the hospital for a week, then Id go home, get really sick and have to come back in for blood and platelets, says Fuesel, 53, a retired insurance agent who lives in suburban Chicago. I spent over 100 days in the hospital over eight months. The disease and treatments (affect the bone marrow and production of red and white blood cells and platelets), so many transfusions were required to achieve remission.
After eight months of chemotherapy, followed by a year on the targeted drug Sprycel (dasatinib) as part of a clinical trial, Fuesel went into remission. She no longer needs transfusions, but she still appreciates the need for blood donors. I wouldnt be alive if the blood wasnt available when it was needed, she says.
Back then, blood shortages werent common, but they are now. The stay-at-home orders at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of numerous blood drives, and safety concerns arising from its spread have prompted some frequent donors to stay away from donation centers.
Thats been a source of worry for oncologists. Patients with cancer use nearly one-quarter of the nations blood supply, according to the American Red Cross, and donated blood is a vital resource in the treatment of hematologic cancers. Patients who receive stem cell transplants often need transfusions of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, infection-fighting white blood cells and platelets to control bleeding. Blood transfusions are common in the supportive care of patients undergoing chemotherapy that suppresses production of all the blood cells that results in anemia, because they relieve symptoms that ensue, such as fatigue and shortness of breath.
Between March and June 2020, 37,000 blood drives were canceled, according to the American Red Cross. The impact of the blood shortage varied across the nation but has hit some cities particularly hard. The New York Blood Center, for example, which supplies New York City
hospitals, reported in December 2020 that it had just three days of supply on hand, down from the five- to seven-day supply it normally has.
Ongoing shortages are forcing cancer centers to change some of their procedures for using donated blood. We all recognize that we are in the midst of a public health crisis and that we all have to do our part, says Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, chief of hematology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and a physician liaison in hematology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In response to COVID-related blood shortages, several cancer centers adjusted their policies for transfusing blood. Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, for example, developed a blood shortage action plan, according to Dr. Kaaron Benson, director of the blood bank at Moffitt. It basically meant dropping some of the thresholds we would normally use for transfusion, Benson says.
Moffitt has not needed to implement the plan yet, but if it does, Benson says, the change would most likely have the biggest effect on patients with leukemia and lymphoma who are given platelets as a preventive strategy. Provided theyre not bleeding or engaging in activities that increase the risk of bleeding, studies have shown you can allow the platelet threshold to drop from our standard of 10,000 per microliter to 5,000, she says.
The technique was first suggested in a 1991 journal article and has since been widely accepted as an appropriate change to make during blood shortages, Benson says.
In recent years, many oncologists have set lower thresholds for red blood cell transfusions another change that has eased the strain on blood supply. They used to routinely order transfusions for patients with hemoglobin levels below 10 grams per deciliter. That number dropped to between 7 and 8 grams per deciliter after a series of studies showed that infusing red blood cells at the higher threshold did not improve treatment outcomes.
During the pandemic, Moffitt and other cancer centers are also delaying some stem cell transplants and elective surgeries, so that blood used during those procedures can be kept on hand for patients who urgently need it, such as trauma patients or those needing emergent surgery. But those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so patients should maintain a frequent dialogue with their oncologists to determine the best plan for managing their symptoms during the pandemic.
Patients with multiple myeloma, for example, can benefit from stem cell transplants, but its usually not urgent, says Dr. Stephanie Lee, a hematologist and professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. We have very good treatments for multiple myeloma, so we can continue to give patients chemotherapy for weeks or months, Lee says.
However, she explains, patients with leukemia who need stem cell transplants may be advised to undergo the procedure as quickly as possible, even during the pandemic, because delaying it could cause the cancer to grow and become resistant to treatment.
And some patients with cancer who are simultaneously fighting other diseases should receive all the blood and platelet transfusions they need to manage their cancer, as well as to address any risks posed by chronic conditions. If you have heart disease, and your hemoglobin drops even further, youre more likely to get angina or suffer a heart attack, Sekeres says. So, for those people with serious comorbidities, we are more aggressive in transfusing blood products.
Growing the Donor Pool
Stephenie Perry, who works as the business operations coordinator for the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia, knows firsthand the value of donated blood. Perry is a survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma who needed several transfusions during her treatment, which consisted of a round of chemotherapy and two stem cell transplants.
Perry, 31, has been in remission since February 2018, but sometimes her red blood cell count still runs low and she needs another blood transfusion. I feel sluggish, and when I stand up, I get really dizzy, says Perry, who lives in Rome, Georgia. When I get a transfusion, its like someone has just given me a shot of energy.
How can patients adapt when blood shortages mandate less frequent transfusions? Lifestyle changes can make a big difference, Sekeres says. If a patient is becoming progressively anemic, and its someone who usually goes for a 2-mile walk every day, maybe theyll reduce it to 1 mile or cut (exercise) altogether, he says.
Some patients may be eligible for iron infusions, which can relieve symptoms of fatigue and lengthen the period between infusions, says Abbey Fueger, clinical trial nurse navigator for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
In addition, there are other small changes that can lessen the risk of anemia and improve symptoms. Some physicians are trying to limit blood draws for patients and recommending nutritional supplements that might help them feel better and lengthen the time between infusions, she says.
Meanwhile, an effort is underway to expand the pool of potential blood donors. In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) addressed blood shortages brought on by COVID-19 by easing up on some of its restrictions on who can donate. For example, people who are at risk of contracting HIV, and those who have a recent tattoo or piercing or possible exposure to an infected individual no longer have to wait one year to give blood. The new waiting period is three months.
The FDA also dropped the waiting period for donors who have traveled to malaria-endemic countries from one year to three months. And it no longer recommends that blood centers turn away donors who lived in certain European countries during the era when Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and fatal degenerative brain disorder, was thought to be spreading.
The hospital community is rallying around the cause, holding blood drives of their own and encouraging family members of patients to donate blood.
During the first few months of the pandemic, Fuesel helped put together five small blood drives in her town of Orland Park, Illinois. They were so successful the American Red Cross and a local news broadcaster asked her to help run the seventh annual Great Chicago Blood Drive. So, she did, and on Jan. 13, that event collected 330 units of blood at the Orland Park location and more than 2,000 units at other drives around the city.
For donors who might be nervous about giving blood during a pandemic, Fuesel has a message: Its safe and important. All the beds are spaced apart, and there are different stations when you walk in for getting your temperature checked and using hand sanitizer, Fuesel says. I know these are hard times, but it doesnt cost anything to give your blood. Its a way to help.
Keep it Flowing: Combating COVID-19 Blood Shortages in Cancer Treatment - Curetoday.com
- Influences and Essentials: DAN LORENZO In His Own Words - OUTBURN ONLINE - Outburn - July 26th, 2021
- Fentanyl Is Wreaking Havoc in Tijuana. Is the Rest of Mexico Next? - VICE - July 26th, 2021
- Home page - American Body Art - Tattoo Supplies Online ... - July 10th, 2021
- Rat City Tat2: "On to the Next Shop" - Westside Seattle - July 10th, 2021
- A Veteran's Journey From Army to Storming the Capitol | Time - TIME - TIME - July 10th, 2021
- The MacIver Weekly Disease Brief: COVID-19 In Wisconsin - MacIverInstitute - July 10th, 2021
- Tattoo Needle Market 2021: Global Trends, Business Overview, Challenges, Opportunities Analysis and Forecast to 2027 The Manomet Current - The... - June 30th, 2021
- Camp LighterHow New, Compact Gear Makes It Easier Than Ever to Get Outdoors - The Wall Street Journal - June 30th, 2021
- Tattoo Needle Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Demand, Growth Analysis, Share, Revenue and Forecast 2026 The Manomet Current - The Manomet Current - June 30th, 2021
- I'm Sorry To Say That Bonkers Tweet About The Big Rig Driver Who Looks Like Amy Schumer Is A Joke - Jalopnik - June 13th, 2021
- Would the Real Toeflop Please Stand Up? - Texas Monthly - June 1st, 2021
- List of businesses that can operate in containment zones released - Fijivillage - May 20th, 2021
- 5 Best Tattoo Artists in Houston - Kev's Best - February 20th, 2021
- Vintage Tattoo owner strives to keep artistry and inclusivity alive - The Reflector online - February 20th, 2021
- Blood drive on March 15th in Hicksville - The Syosset Advance - February 20th, 2021
- Tattoo Ink Market Forecast in Addition to Top key players like: Intenze Tattoo Ink, Electric Ink, Tommy's Supplies, Kuro Sumi, Millennium Colors, and... - February 20th, 2021
- Market Assessment of Tattoo Ink Industry including Top Players like Intenze Tattoo Ink, Electric Ink, Tommy's Supplies, Kuro Sumi, Millennium Colors,... - February 17th, 2021
- How River Raids work in Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Gamepur - February 17th, 2021
- Residents Encouraged To Donate Blood At Drive In Hicksville - Patch.com - February 15th, 2021
- Optimistic Growth of Colored Tattoo Inks Market 2021 to High Demand NeighborWebSJ - NeighborWebSJ - February 13th, 2021
- Halsey Doesn't Want To Go 'Overboard' On Pregnancy Cravings - OK! - February 10th, 2021
- Spray Covers Market Consumption Analysis, Business Overview and Upcoming Trends|Halcyon Solutions, WorldWide Tattoo Supply, Tommys Supplies, , , etc -... - February 8th, 2021
- Report Explained: How COVID-19 Has affected The Tattoo Market? | Survey on Future Scope by 2026 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU | The Sentinel... - February 8th, 2021
- Last Week in The Sentinel | Local News | sentinelsource.com - The Keene Sentinel - February 6th, 2021
- Global Tattoo Market 2020 Industry Insights, Drivers, Top Trends, Global Analysis And Forecast to 2027 NeighborWebSJ - NeighborWebSJ - January 31st, 2021
- Then and Now: A look at Gardner's 'Main' menu - The Gardner News - January 31st, 2021
- All About Alev Aydin, Halsey's Boyfriend and Father of Her Child - ELLE.com - January 31st, 2021
- Still Red: Luna County lagging in response to COVID-19 "Red to Green" platform - The Deming Headlight - January 31st, 2021
- Global Tattoo Needles Market by Manufacturers, Types, Regions and Application Research Report Forecast to 2026 The Courier - The Courier - January 27th, 2021
- New Mexico Department Of Health County Map Update: Los Alamos Reaches Yellow Level; Almost Every County Improving In Health Metrics And Suppressing... - January 27th, 2021
- Remington Tattoo Parlor and Gallery Claims To Be The Best Option For Those Searching Online For "Female Tattoo Artists Near Me" In San Diego... - January 20th, 2021
- Global Tattoo Aftercare Products Market Expected to Reach Highest CAGR By 2027: Tattoo Goo, Hustle Butter, Ora's Amazing Herbal etc. - KSU | The... - January 20th, 2021
- Tattoo Market 2020 | In-Depth Study On The Current State Of The Industry And Key Insights Of The Business Scenario By 2027 - FLA News - January 15th, 2021
- The Middle East and Africa dermatology treatment devices market is expected to reach US$ 317.68 million in 2027 from US$ 217.01 million in 2019 -... - January 15th, 2021
- McDonald's J Balvin merch line has been canceled due to production challenges, following the wild success of the chain's Travis Scott collab - Markets... - January 12th, 2021
- Tattoo Ink Market Business Opportunities, Survey, Growth Analysis And Industry Outlook | Intenze Tattoo Ink, Electric Ink, Tommys Supplies, Kuro Sumi... - January 3rd, 2021
- World: Positive news in the difficult year of the pandemic - PRESSENZA International News Agency - January 3rd, 2021
- 32 Counties Operating At Red Level On Department Of Health County Map Including Los Alamos County - Los Alamos Reporter - January 3rd, 2021
- Tattoo Ink Market (Europe and US) | What Recent Study Say About Top Companies - NeighborWebSJ - December 27th, 2020
- Market Size, Share and Manufacture covered Globally of Tattoo Market from 2020-2026 - The Monitor - December 27th, 2020
- Global Rotary Tattoo Machines Market 2020 Top Growing Companies Analysis and Segmentation Outlook till 2026 - The Monitor - December 19th, 2020
- Art supply drive for kids to be held Friday - KSNF/KODE - FourStatesHomepage.com - December 18th, 2020
- She was in Iraq when her son was killed. Four years later, the police have no leads. - Houston Chronicle - December 18th, 2020
- The Work Diary of Mira Mariah, Tattoo and Girl Culture Expert - The New York Times - December 10th, 2020
- Colored Tattoo Inks Market Growth Analysis by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application,Forecast (2020-2025) - The Courier - December 7th, 2020
- The girl with her own tattoos: the joy of homemade ink - The Guardian - December 7th, 2020
- Yakuza Like A Dragon: Every Playable Character You Can Have in Your Party - TheGamer - November 30th, 2020
- TATSoul - Tattoo Supplies & Furniture - November 25th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Market 2020 Trend, Segmentation and Opportunities Forecast To 2025 - re:Jerusalem - November 20th, 2020
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: 6 things you don't want to miss - CNET - November 20th, 2020
- Ailed Duarte on the unique pressures and pleasures of tattooing in Cuba - Roads and Kingdoms - November 18th, 2020
- Addiction Matters: How a heroin user-turned-hero saved so many others, but not himself - WWLTV.com - November 18th, 2020
- Family Fun: Rocking joy into the world with vibrantly painted rocks - The Spokesman-Review - November 16th, 2020
- Despite pandemic, Bobby Natalini Jr. Blood Drive will continue to build supplies for Red Cross - The Times Herald - November 16th, 2020
- How Art Therapy Helped One Cancer Survivor Manage COVID-19 Lockdown - Curetoday.com - November 10th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle and Disposable Tattoo Cartridges Market 2020 with COVID-19 After Effects Growth Drivers, Top Key Players, Industry Segments and... - November 10th, 2020
- Governor adds new restrictions on gatherings - Government - vintontoday.com - November 10th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle Market 2026: Report Recent Trends and Growth Opportunities by Major Players Cloud Dragon (CN), Wujiang Shenli (CN), Magic Moon... - November 4th, 2020
- WHAT'S BEING PLANNED: McDonald's latest, tattoo parlour on the move and more - Swindon Advertiser - November 1st, 2020
- Incredible Generosity Makes Red Handed Tattoo in Shreveport the Nicest Place in Louisiana - Reader's Digest - November 1st, 2020
- Global Spray Covers Industry Statistics & Forecast to 2026 | Halcyon Solutions, WorldWide Tattoo Supply - re:Jerusalem - October 28th, 2020
- Comprehensive Report on Tattoo Machine Market 2020 | Size, Growth, Demand, Opportunities & Forecast To 2026 | Mithra, Worldwide Tattoo Supply,... - October 24th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle Market by technology, solutions, application, price, demand analysis and growth opportunities to 2026 - TechnoWeekly - October 24th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid-19 on Tattoo Needle and Disposable Tattoo Cartridges Market 2020 Industry Challenges, Business Overview and Forecast Research Study... - October 21st, 2020
- Tattoo Supplies Market Size, Production, Consumption, Export and Import, Growth Rate and Price Analysis by Types and Applications, Forecast to 2025 -... - October 14th, 2020
- Kern County could move to next tier, how industries are preparing - KERO 23ABC News - October 14th, 2020
- Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Partners With Kingpin Tattoo Supplies For #SupportYourArtist - BevNET.com - October 10th, 2020
- Covid-19 has resurrected the woeful tech of home printers - Wired.co.uk - October 10th, 2020
- Comprehensive Analysis on Decal Paper Market based on types and application - GroundAlerts.com - October 7th, 2020
- Cuban Tattoo Art and the Challenges Ahead - Havana Times - October 4th, 2020
- Tattoo Supplies Market 2020 |Global Industry Analysis By Trends, Size, Share, Company Overview, Growth And Forecast By 2026| Latest Research Report By... - September 30th, 2020
- Women tattoo artists make mark on industry in Boulder County - Longmont Times-Call - September 30th, 2020
- Global Tattoo Needle Market: 2020 Global Industry Size Share, Regional Analysis, End Users, Growth Insights, Top Key Players and Forecast To 2026 -... - September 30th, 2020
- COVID-19 Impact on Tattoo Ink Market Analysis by Recent Trends and Growth by Region 2020| Intenze Tattoo Ink, Alla Prima, Kuro Sumi - The Daily... - September 29th, 2020
- Latest Research Report on Tattoo Ink Market To Exhibit Impressive Growth By 2027 - The Daily Chronicle - September 23rd, 2020
- Tattoo Ink Market research gain impetus due to the growing demand over (2020 2027) - The Daily Chronicle - September 22nd, 2020
- Tattoo Ink Market Size, Type Analysis, Application Analysis, End-Use, Industry COVID-19 Impact on Analysis, Regions, Trends, Competitive Strategies... - September 22nd, 2020
- UL's Devon Pauley helping Cajuns make historic strides, while thoughts always with Lake Charles - The Advocate - September 22nd, 2020
- In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment | by Krithika Varagur - The New York Review of Books - September 18th, 2020
- Restaurants, retail stores and office buildings will now be able to operate at 75 percent capacity - The Light and Champion - September 18th, 2020