Medical personnel and equipment filled up the LSC Ballroom last Thursday as students donated blood bone marrow during the first of two Sam Houston State University bi-annual blood drives.
Employees of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, located in Houston, were screening prospective donors and drawing blood from students, faculty and staff on campus.
“We have a projection of 155 units and that’s whole blood units. We can see as many as 250 people, but we hope to at least bring back 155 units,” said Charise Murphy, mobile supervisor for Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.
The purpose for blood drives is to help the community, specifically those in need of blood and bone marrow.
“They process it, run different tests and once it processed and everything goes through, then they ship it to the hospitals. They separate the components red cells, platelets and plasma. So one unit can save up to three lives,” said Murphy.
The requirements for donating blood are donors must be 17 years of age, have a picture I.D., a weight requirement of 110 pounds for females and all donors must be screened before giving blood.
“My dad is in the military,” said sophomore Francesa Brown. “With the soldiers that are over seas, I feel like I should do my part because my dad has done his part for 22 years.”
Students have also taken the initiative to become a lifetime donor, making it a routine to donate blood for some SHSU students.
“I’m committed for life,” said senior Haley Shivers. “That means I donate blood every three months. I feel it’s important to serve the community. It can save peoples lives and it is some thing I can give and it doesn’t cost anything.”
Prospective donors also had the opportunity to donate bone marrow. “We are registering people for the National Marrow Donor Program. It’s a national registry that helps people who are suffering from leukemia or other life treating blood dieses,” said Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center Marrow donor program coordinator Francisca Purvis.
In order to do this, students had to give an extra sample of blood identifying tissue type and fill out basic paper work for contact information. If there is a match between now and the age of 61 the blood center will call the match for donation.
“There is a new procedure that most people are not aware of. The old procedure was going into the pelvic bone and taking the marrow. The new way is five days before donation; you are given a medication that brings those blood stem cells that are in the marrow out of the marrow and into the blood stream. So it is as easy as giving blood.” said Purvis.
If you are interested in donating blood, call the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center at (713) 790-1200 or visit http://www.giveblood.com. For more information on becoming a bone marrow donor, visit http://www.marrow.com.