Blood Drive Calls for Student Blood ... and Marrow
Students join the American Red Cross and Student Health Center in donating blood for those in need.
Published: Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 19:05
The Valley College Student Health Center and the American Red Cross joined forces last Thursday to give students and faculty the opportunity to save lives in dire need of blood.
Student Carina Murillo was one of the first of many students on the scene. Willing, able and equipped with her donor card, she was ready to part with her blood for the sake of saving lives.
"It's just a nice thing to do," said Murillo. "I haven't done it in a year, so it was time."
In addition to accepting blood, a marrow donor registry was also available for students willing to go the extra mile and place their name on a registry that could potentially match the donor with the particular needs of a patient lacking bone marrow.
"The major misconception of donating marrow is that it is painful," said Gina Cousineau, executive director of the Be a Hero, Become a Donor organization. "Registering doesn't even mean you have to donate, it just puts you on a list in case we find a match."
Marrow donation is a surgical outpatient procedure that takes place at a hospital. The donor receives anesthesia and feels no pain during the donation. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the pelvic bone. The marrow replaces itself completely within four to six weeks.
Despite being scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and having two Blood Mobiles, come 1 p.m., many students without an appointment were turned away due to the abundance of donors and the insufficiency of donor stations.
"It's the bus factor," said ARC volunteer Alan Fowler, referring to the limited space provided by the two Blood Mobiles. "We can only accommodate so many students with only a few stations. If we could set up in one of the halls, we could get more donors."
Several students hoping to do their part seemed disillusioned by being turned away.
"Saving lives should not require an appointment," said one student who wished to remain anonymous.
For students hoping to make a difference by donating blood, there is no need to wait for the Blood Mobile to come to Valley. There are donor centers across LA that accept donations on a daily basis, such as the Woodland Hills Donor Center at 6338 Variel Ave. in Woodland Hills. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit www.givelife.org.