(L-R) American Red Cross CEO Robert Kessler; Paul Olson, who
donated his 500th pint of blood to the Red Cross; and
Matthew Goldstein, MD, Lankenau Heart Institute cardiologist.
(Bryn Mawr, PA – June 16, 2014)– On Thursday, June 12, war veteran and
Paoli Hospital patient Paul Olson, 82, reached a milestone blood
donation after recovering from heart surgery. Olson donated his 500th
pint of blood to the American Red Cross Center.
Olson suffered from tachycardia, which is a fast heart rate caused by
electricity in the heart beginning to short-circuit. Olson learned that
due to his condition, he might not be able to reach his goal. He sought
help from Lankenau Heart Institute cardiologist, Matthew Goldstein,
M.D., who was able to perform a cardiac ablation to correct the problem.
Olson was able to make a comeback. “His only goal was to be able to
continue to help other people,” said Dr. Goldstein.
Olson began donating blood at the age of 18 and it has now become
routine for he and his wife, Andrea. Every other Sunday, the couple will
drive from Devon into Philadelphia so Olson can donate his blood
platelets. This two-hour process serves a meaningful purpose for Olson
and those involved in receiving the platelets.
Cancer caused a great deal of loss of friends and loved ones in Olson’s
early life. In experiencing those illnesses, he wanted to give back.
Platelets are vital in cancer treatments and for those with rare blood
diseases. “I encourage all my friends that it’s a very worthwhile thing
to do,” he said.
According to the Red Cross, there is a great need for this type of blood
donation. One single platelet can provide enough platelets for a
patient’s full therapeutic dose, and in some cases, even two or three
doses. Regular donors, such as Olson, aid in the supply. Dr. Goldstein
was present among others to congratulate Olson on his great success.
About the Lankenau Heart Institute
The Lankenau Heart Institute is Main Line Health System’s premier,
comprehensive cardiovascular medicine and surgery program. The Lankenau
Heart Institute brings together the clinical expertise of all four Main
Line Health acute care hospitals and community cardiology practices to
ensure that patients receive a level of quality, service, and experience
that is unprecedented in the region. Through the coordination of
services, system wide, the Lankenau Heart Institute delivers preventive,
diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative cardiovascular services at
each of our locations including Lankenau Medical Center and Bryn Mawr,
Paoli and Riddle Hospitals.
With a collaborative team of expert consultative cardiologists,
interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiovascular
surgeon and specially trained nurses and technologists, the Lankenau
Heart Institute is dedicated to managing and treating patients with
heart failure, coronary and peripheral vascular disease, heart rhythm
disorders and valve disease. Our team of cardiologists and cardiac
specialists provide patients and their families with expert cardiac
care, close to home.