Frequently Asked Questions

About Secure Transfusion Services (“STS”)

What is STS?

STS is a life sciences company focused on improving the safety and availability of key transfusable blood components. We build and operate blood collection centers in full compliance with all applicable local, state, federal, and industry regulations.

How are OneBlood and Cerus affiliated with STS?

OneBlood and Cerus are strategic partners of STS and have a presence on our board of directors.

Is STS a for-profit company?

Yes, STS is a for-profit, commercial organization with the mission of improving the safety and availability of key transfusable blood components.

Where are the STS blood collection centers?

Our first collection center is in Minneapolis, MN. We are coming soon to other states.

For Healthcare Providers

How can I work with STS?

 Hospital partners can work with STS on a contracted and ad hoc basis. Contact us here to learn more.

When can STS supply me?

STS is launching its initial collection centers and anticipates supplying customers soon.

Why should I work with STS? I have a primary blood supply relationship.

The goal of STS is to work synergistically with the existing non-profit blood centers in coming to the market.  We encourage our hospital customers to consider best practices in supply chain integrity in thinking through blood, and especially platelet, supply relationships –  having a “dual source” supply relationship whereby hospital customers have two contracted, diversified, platelet supply sources can be beneficial especially in times of systemic stress.

I’m concerned with achieving the heightened safety standards established by the FDA in the formal guidance it issued on September 30, 2019. Is STS able to help me?

Yes.  STS produces a 100% inventory of pathogen reduces single donor platelets, one of the means FDA confirmed allows for hospitals to become compliant with the new safety standards.

Click here to view the FDA finalized guidance

About Pathogen Reduction

What is a pathogen?

A pathogen is a microorganism with the ability to cause disease.

What is pathogen reduction (“PR”)?

The Cerus INTERCEPT system is the only FDA cleared means of performing pathogen reduction on transfusable blood components. An analogy is the pasteurization of milk products, which eliminates microorganisms, enhancing shelf life and safety. INTERCEPT works by deactivating the ability of viruses and bacteria to multiply. Click here to learn more about INTERCEPT.

What organisms are of concern in transfusion medicine?

Viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, West Nile, chikungunya, and Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) 1 and 2, have the potential to contaminate blood components for transfusion. Bacterial species are a particular concern regarding platelet components. Finally, currently unknown microorganisms are a persistent threat to the safety of the blood supply.

Why is our inventory 100% pathogen reduced?

STS believes pathogen reduction is the safest method for the prevention of bacteria and other bloodborne pathogens. Further, pathogen reduced platelets are the simplest and easiest manner for large volume transfusion centers to be compliant with final FDA regulations concerning septic transfusion risk mitigation. For this reason, STS platelets are 100% pathogen reduced.

About Platelets

What are platelets?

Blood consists of three main components: red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelets play a crucial role in hemostasis, the physiological process that stops bleeding at the site of an injury while maintaining normal blood flow elsewhere in the circulation.

How are platelets used?

Platelets are a highly important transfusion medicine component for hospitals and are primarily used for the prevention of bleeding in hematology/oncology and the treatment of active bleeding in surgery and trauma

What happens to the platelets after they are donated at an STS facility?

  • Platelets have a 5-day shelf life. Once collected, the units are immediately taken to our lab, located within our donation facility, for processing
  • Samples are drawn and shipped to an FDA approved laboratory for infectious disease testing
  • While the samples are shipped and tested, the STS team continues the manufacturing process. This process includes:
  • Analyzing the purity and potency of each unit
  • Splitting the units into regulated therapeutic doses
  • Performing the INTERCEPT pathogen reduction process
  • Storing and agitating the platelets within temperature-controlled limits
  • Once test results are received, typically within 24 hours, the platelets are labeled in accordance with FDA guidelines and immediately shipped to our local hospital customers
  • The STS process is designed to achieve platelets with a usable shelf life of 3.5 – 4 days

What is a split rate?

The split rate refers to the total number of therapeutic platelet doses resulting from a given number of collections.  A single donor’s platelet donation may yield one, two, or three therapeutic doses. Variances in platelet yield are caused by the donor’s genetics.

What is the shelf life of platelets?

At five days, platelets have the shortest shelf life of all blood components. Red blood cells can be stored for 42 days, and plasma, which can be frozen, has a multi-year shelf life.

How often can platelets be donated?

There are many factors that affect platelet donation frequency. The FDA allows donations once per week with a maximum of 24 times per year. Individuals with questions on their donation frequency are encouraged to reach out to their local STS blood collection center.

Does STS perform direct transfusion to patients?

No, STS does not provide clinical services to patients. STS works directly with its hospital partners to supply them with hard to source transfusable blood components.

Donation Experience

How long does it take to donate platelets?

Apheresis platelet donations require approximately 3 hours, as compared to 30-45 minutes for whole blood donation. The STS focus on platelets, operational efficiencies, and donor comfort yields a target platelet donation time of 2.5 hours.

Does STS conduct mobile drives?

No, the STS operations model is solely focused on state-of-the-art brick and mortar facilities strategically placed to engage the community and facilitate timely, routine shipments to our likely hospital partners.

Can anyone donate platelets?

No, in order to donate platelets, a donor must meet the requirements set forth by the FDA and AABB. In addition to these standards, STS uses a proprietary algorithm to identify donors with a targeted platelet yield. For this reason, a donor may meet the basic regulatory standards to be a platelet donor but not be able to donate with STS. Donors that meet the FDA and AABB standards for donating blood components but do not meet the additional STS requirements are encouraged to pursue donations at their local blood bank. To find your local blood center, click here.

Does STS pay donors for their donation?

Yes, STS follows a similar model to the plasma industry, where the responsible use of compensation has a proven history of both donor and patient safety.  In addition to responsibly compensating donors, STS also maintains attractive facilities, and actively engages within the community to foster enduring, long-term relationships. We believe enduring relationships with our donors, hospital partners, and communities in which we operate are the key to improving the safety and availability of hard to source blood components.

How are donor compensation levels determined?

Donor compensation is based on regional variances in operating costs in addition to factors influencing platelet demand and supply in specific locations.