The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

April 10, 2013

Decline in need for blood leads to staff cuts at center

Decreased demand for blood transfusions is behind the recent decision by the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks to lay off 27 full-time and 12 part-time employees.

“We had a 15 percent decline in blood transfusions in the first three months of 2013 compared to the first three months of 2012,” said Chris Pilgrim, marketing manager for the blood center. “We just got the numbers for March. It was (down) almost 19 percent.

“That follows a decline of 4 to 7 percent in the last part of 2012.

Before the cuts, the center employed about 220 people. Pilgrim said officials hoped attrition would forestall the need for layoffs, but the drawdown in demand was too great.

“The decrease was so significant that in the end it became apparent that our budget and staffing would have to change immediately,” he said.

No employees of the Joplin Donor Center inside the main entrance to Northpark Mall were affected by the staffing cuts.

The center provides blood and blood products to 38 hospitals in a region that includes most of Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. Its clients include Mercy Hospital Joplin and Freeman Health System.

A spokeswoman for Freeman said overall blood usage there has not decreased, but it has at Mercy Hospital Joplin because of the May 2011 tornado.

Pilgrim said that nationwide, medical advancements and new surgical techniques are contributing to the decrease in the need for blood.

CELL SALVAGE

A big reason for the decline is that blood salvage devices are being used more frequently by hospitals. A recent report in Stanford Medicine Magazine, a publication of the Stanford University School of Medicine, states: “The cell salvage device has been around for decades, but only recently has evidence emerged that autotransfusion — giving patients their own blood instead of blood from donors — leads to better surgery outcomes.”

Cell salvage refers to medical procedures that clean and preserve a patient’s own blood cells, allowing recovery of blood that would otherwise be lost in surgery.

“As a result,” the report noted, “the use of the machines has gone from extremely rare to commonplace. Today, hospitals that have the machines use them in many scheduled abdominal and heart surgeries and routinely in trauma cases involving massive bleeding.”

At its national summit last fall, the American Medical Association brought attention to the subject when it identified the overuse of five medical treatments. Blood transfusions were on the list along with heart stents, ear tubes, antibiotics and inducing birth in pregnant women.

The Stanford report said: “Donated blood carries risks, albeit very slight, of infection and setting off an immune reaction. But research is also showing that even when these drastic outcomes are avoided, there’s something else about donated blood — which scientists don’t fully understand — that could slow recovery time or increase complications.”

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos