Sickle Cell

Learn about sickle cell disease, where abnormal red blood cells shaped like sickles or crescents get stuck in blood vessels...


The demand for blood in research is high. Progress is often delayed due to lack of matches to participate. That’s why Cascade Regional Blood Services has created bResearch, a division devoted solely to matching your blood donations to life science research needs worldwide. Through bResearch, we partner with medical science professionals to help advance the research and development to cure disease.

South Sound Talk: Pediatric Patients in Urgent Need of Blood Donations at Mary Bridge this Summer

Earlier this spring Seattle Children’s Hospital was forced to shut down four of its operating rooms due to mold. With these patients being transferred from Seattle to Tacoma, Mary Bridge is in dire need of donors to help support the high demand for blood products.

Earlier this spring Seattle Children’s Hospital was forced to shut down four of its operating rooms due to mold. With these patients being transferred from Seattle to Tacoma, Mary Bridge is in dire need of donors to help support the high demand for blood products.

“From the initial closure at Seattle Children’s Hospital, we have seen our demand for blood on pediatric patients increase nearly 400%,” Richard Freed, Cascade Regional Blood Service’s Laboratory Operations Manager tells us. “At this point, we expect the demand to increase even further. Recruiting, collecting and processing blood for the pediatric patients is always a challenge.”

Cascade Regional Blood Service encourages all eligible donors and even first-time donors to make a difference this summer by making a blood donation to help keep supplies high enough in order to support the record amounts of young patients in need.

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Key Biologics and Cascade Regional Blood Services Partner on Leukapheresis Collections

TACOMA, WA, UNITED STATES – Jan 16, 2019 – Key Biologics LLC and Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS) today announced a multi-year agreement to provide researchers in academia, pharma and biotech with vital blood products and materials for their research and product manufacturing efforts. The partnership focuses on collection of mononuclear cells (MNCs) by leukapheresis and includes joint donor recruitment, product distribution and marketing. The companies will leverage Cascade Regional Blood Services’ centers in Tacoma, Puyallup and Federal Way, Washington for donor screening and leukapheresis collections. The program will build on CRBS’s established expertise in recruiting and enrolling its volunteer blood donors into research studies involving collection of non-traditional blood products.

MNCs are a critical raw material for the development of cell- and gene-based therapies targeting certain life-threatening diseases. Demand for these products is rapidly increasing worldwide. Collection of MNCs by leukapheresis is a multi-hour procedure and therefore requires a high level of commitment from the donor. Both Key Biologics and CRBS have been very active in the recruitment of qualified donors to support these important research efforts.

For Memphis-based Key Biologics, the agreement extends its collection and distribution network, and better positions it to serve its growing customer base on the West Coast of the US and Canada as well as in Asia and Australia. For Cascade Regional Blood Services, the collaboration increases the utilization and output of its facilities and expands the products and services it can offer its customers and opportunities it can offer its donors.

In August, Key Biologics merged with Seattle-based Astarte Biologics adding highly complementary immunology expertise and expanding the combined company’s cell characterization, custom cell line and assay development capabilities. The addition of Astarte’s product and service lines provides Key Biologics’ customers with access to highly characterized cells and qualified cell lines. Astarte also has a long-standing relationship with Cascade Regional Blood Services with CRBS being an important provider of materials for Astarte’s work.

CRBS is a member of Blood Centers of America (BCA), a national organization of over 50 independent community blood centers and source plasma collection centers that is the largest blood supply network in the United States. In September, Key Biologics and BCA announced an agreement to leverage each organization’s resources and capabilities to supply critical raw materials needed for pre-clinical research and for clinical manufacturing of cell-based therapies.

“This partnership immediately expands Key Biologics collection and supply footprint and gives us the ability to serve a much broader segment of the market,” said Joe Gentile, CEO of Key Biologics. “The Northwest is an important and growing area for vital medical research and CRBS has the state-of-the-art facilities, expertise, and an engaged donor base to support those efforts. Our existing relationship with CRBS through Astarte and BCA will also help ensure we can immediately leverage the partnership to the benefit of all parties.”

“We are excited to partner with Key Biologics and expand upon our long history of supporting research activities. We look forward to offering our donors new opportunities for saving lives and contributing to scientific advancements,” said Christine Swinehart, CEO of CRBS.

About Cascade Regional Blood Services

Cascade Regional Blood Services is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 independent blood center serving community hospitals and clinics in Western Washington since 1946. CRBS provides blood products, therapeutic apheresis services, and support to pharmaceutical partners. With a dedicated volunteer donor base, CRBS conducts over 1,000 blood drives a year and has three donor center locations, including a laboratory in their Tacoma headquarters.  For more than 25 years, research companies have looked to CRBS to support their individual and IRB endeavors through recruitment and specialized collections.  For more information, visit

About Key Biologics LLC

Memphis-based Key Biologics provides research- and clinical-grade human cells and blood products and related services to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and academic institutions around the world. The company is focused on advancing life science from discovery, through R&D, and into curing disease. The company began support of this industry in 1999 when its antecedent, Lifeblood Biological Services (LBS), was created by Dr. Edward Scott to meet the needs of biotech companies for well-characterized human biological materials to support research and development. Lifeblood’s recognition of the industry need and the business opportunity that resulted occurred a decade or more before other community blood centers embraced that view. Because of its long history and reputation, Key Biologics is viewed as the preferred partner for cell sourcing within the industry. With its recent merger with Astarte Biologics, the company now also offers the largest selection of characterized immune cells and reagents to help immunology and inflammation researchers accelerate their discovery efforts.  For more information, and

South Sound Talk: Boy at Mary Bridge Hospital Needs O Positive Blood Donations to Battle Cancer

Three-year old diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) needs your donations of O positive blood

Until last November, Junior was an energetic three-year-old. He was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), which typically affects the B cells in children. 

Junior is being treated at Mary Bridge Hospital, where he will need platelets and red blood cells for an undetermined period of time, depending on how his body reacts to the transfusions and the aggressiveness of the disease.

If you have O positive blood he could really use your generous donations to battle this forceful cancer.

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South Sound Talk: Florida Child in Need of Extremely Rare Blood: OneBlood Leading Worldwide Search for Donors

A nonprofit blood center in the southeast is leading a worldwide search to find some of the rarest blood in the world to help save two-year-old Zainab, a South Florida girl who is battling neuroblastoma. If you meet the criteria, please donate!

South Sound Talk reports on a south Florida girl named Zainab needs a very rare kind of blood in order to battle neuroblastoma, a very aggressive form of cancer. 

Statistically, the only people who are likely to be a match for Zainab are people of Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent. Of these populations, less than 4% of the people are actually missing the Indian B antigen.

OneBlood, a not-for-profit blood center serving Florida and other parts of the southeast, is leading a worldwide search to find donor matches, and Cascade Regional Blood Services island the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP) is helping with the search. If you meet the criteria, please contact us to make an appointment to donate.

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South Sound Talk: Cascade Regional Blood Services and MultiCare: 70 Years of Partnership

MultiCare and Cascade Regional Blood Services celebrate 70 years of linking volunteer blood donors to local patients in need. The relationship between the two organizations has evolved to respond to the unique needs of the community.

Since 1946, Cascade Regional Blood Services and MultiCare have developed a unique partnership to serve their communities and provide life-saving blood products, including  red blood cells and whole blood, platelets, plasma, cryoprecipitate, among a number of other specialized blood products used for research and patient care.

The two organizations maintain a specialized team of MultiCare-credentialed registered nurses who perform services and procedures for both adult and pediatric patients. Some of these procedures include therapeutic plasma and red cell exchanges. They also provide whole blood and platelets specifically for pediatric heart surgery patients through their Baby Blood Program, as well as other special products collected from donors for ECMO life support, LVAD placement surgeries, and over 170 unique surgeries and procedures that are performed yearly in MultiCare hospitals and clinics.

These are just a few of the services and collaborations that are provided through this partnership, highlighted in South Sound Talk.

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South Sound Talk: Cascade Regional Blood Service Urges Millennials to Donate Blood

With many regular donors aging out of the donor pool, too few young people are stepping up to replace them. Campus blood drives are a great source of donations, but when school isn’t in session, this blood supply drops critically low.

Currently, South Sound Talk reports, more than half of all blood donations are made by people over 40 years old, and three-quarters of these are over 50. As the donor population ages, the need for blood intensifies. 

Millennials must rise to the challenge. During World War II, donating blood was viewed by people as a civic responsibility. Now more than ever, young people are needed to make regular donations a part of their lives—and not only in times of crises. Some millennials claim to be too busy to donate, while many report they simply hadn’t thought about it. By raising awareness we can bridge the growing gap to meet the needs of our communities.

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South Sound Talk: Kindness for Kent: Team Kent Blood Drive in Gig Harbor

South Sound Talks reports on how one Gig Harbor family channeled their grief into a call for kindness, blood donations

Baby Kent was born on January 9, 2018 with Congenital Heart Defect (CHD), a rare heart defect where one ventricle did not form. He died from complications after his first surgery. 

Kent’s family has channeled their grief by calling on people to do some acts of kindness, and posting about them on their Facebook page. They also sponsored a blood drive in his honor.

“I don’t know the reason. I am hopeful that there was one. But, as I’m hurting, I’m hopeful; hopeful that with the power of community and family surrounding us, we will overcome this huge and devastating loss.”

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