Biannual blood drive draws life

Sarah D. Gonzales, sgonzales@lmcexperience.com

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Los Medanos College received its biannual visit from the Blood Center of the Pacific for Blood Drive Wednesday, Nov. 9 in room L-109. The event was organized by members of Student Life and saw over 20 donors.
“We coordinate all of this. All the volunteers make sure that all the folks here have all the stuff they need in order to make this successful,” said Student Life Coordinator John Nguyen. “The students and the staff — whosever is a member at LMC — they were able to go to Bloodheroes.com and sign up for an appointment to donate blood here at Los Medanos College.”
The blood drive was open to students and staff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants were able to either sign up online beforehand or come in for a walk-in appointment. The process for donating blood included a series of questions to ensure their blood was compatible for donation.
“Normally they would fill out questionnaires online. We would then review the answers and perform a small physical, check their blood pressure, temperature and iron levels. When they pass all that, then they donate,” said John Lopez, phlebotomist for the Blood Center of the Pacific. “It’s fun and serves a great purpose, but we often don’t get enough blood to meet the demand of the people that can donate — only about three percent actually do.”
The donation process takes roughly an hour, but only ten minutes is spent actually donating blood. After giving blood, participants were required to stay in the area under observation for 10 or so minutes. LMC student volunteers provided snacks and water for blood donors.
Admissions and Records Employee Diane Ferguson participated in the blood drive.
“I’ve given blood since I was 17,” said Ferguson. “I think it’s important to give blood, especially now because my blood is not rejected for babies with sickness like anemia.”
LMC resident RC Kubota had also given blood and shared her enthusiasm.
“It’s the first time I passed the iron check- on the first poke! I was so happy,” said Kubota. “Even though giving blood makes me nervous, I started, partly because my sister shamed me into it. My younger sister started donating and then dragged my middle sister and they worked on me!”
Blood Center of the Pacific is a non-profit, community based organization that provides blood to hospitals across California and provides aid for over 50,000 patients per year using the donations by community volunteers.
“This is a really great opportunity for the campus community to come together to do our part and help other people,” added Nyguen.
To learn more about this organization, visit www.bloodcenters.org.
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