Penn Animal Blood Bank
As a result of the growth in veterinary specialty services, the demand for blood transfusions has risen dramatically. Specialties such as emergency medicine, critical care, internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, and oncology have created a need for more and different blood. VHUP averages 300 transfusions per month as blood and blood products are used to support animals with anemia, bleeding and some other conditions.
Similar to the Red Cross, our volunteer donor program, "Pets Helping Pets" allows healthy pets to donate blood. Each donation of whole blood can be processed into components such as packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelet rich plasma and cryoprecipitate. Thus, one unit can serve more than one patient.
Our canine supply is supported by the Bloodmobile, which is used for blood drives several days a week at local veterinary hospitals and breed clubs. In addition, VHUP staff and students pets donate during in-house blood drives. Donna Oakley, PABB director, has a staff of three veterinary nurses who organize the blood drives throughout the Delaware Valley. There have been more than 3,000 canine blood donors in the program.