By Stephen Allard
Would you like the opportunity to save a person’s life? Your chance is finally here with the blood drive on May 4 which is asking for volunteers.
“One in three people will need blood sometime during their lives. Close to 2,000 men, women, and children in our community, including cancer, transplant and surgery patients, trauma victims, newborn babies, and many others need blood transfusions each day” reads the Donate Blood Now pamphlet. According to the official site of the Red Cross, a blood donation “is when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions or made into medications.”
You must be at least 16 years old with a weight of at least 110 pounds. On the day of donation you must eat regular meal times and drink plenty of fluids. If you meet this criteria, there is other important information you need to know before donating. According to the Donate Blood Handbook, there are many reasons, some temporary and others permanent, that you won’t be able to give blood.
Some of the temporary reasons are very minor like if you got a tattoo or a piercing in the past year, you have a sore throat or cold upon the day of donation, you traveled to a place where malaria is a problem, or if you were pregnant or had an abortion recently. However, other temporary reasons can be serious like if you have Syphilis or Gonorrhea or you previously have had certain forms of cancer.
The permanent reasons you can’t give blood are if you’re a hemophiliac, have ever tested positive for HIV, you used illegal drugs with a needle even just once, if you have had sex for money or drugs any time since 1977, or you are a man who has had sex with another man sine 1977 even once. There is also certain types of medication that if a person is taking they cannot donate blood. Medications such as Antibiotics except for acne, Accutane, Propecia, Proscar, Avodart, Soriatane, Coumadin are medicines that can hurt your risk of being eligible to give blood.
There are other reasons as to why you can’t give blood so if you would like further information on this subject such as ineligibility based on other medications taken or your length of time you need to wait before giving blood for the temporary reasons because the length of time can be anywhere from a couple of days to months or years, there are pamphlets in the Kreiling Hall in the Health Services room or call 1-800-688-0900. Most people with diabetes are also eligible for donating blood so for further information about this subject call 1-800-933-2566.
The Blood Drive will be taking place in the Eastern Campus in Riverhead between 9 am to 3 pm in the Peconic building, room 100.
“This is the opportunity to save a person’s life,” said Dillon Paparelli, a liberal arts major at Suffolk County Community College. Paparelli donated blood at the previous blood drive event and was satisfied at how it turned out. “I got to potentially save a person’s life, and I was getting paid for sick time at work” he said. “I felt light headed for a couple of hours, but after eating lunch I felt back to normal.” The only negative was the wait to get blood drawn, “I was waiting for nearly three hours and the procedure only took about 10 minutes, but I would do it again if I had to.”
After you give the donation, your blood will then be tested for blood type to match the donor, hepatitis, HIV, HTLV which is a retrovirus associated with a repressed immune system, Chagas, West Nile, and Syphilis. It is then separated into components, such as red cells, plasma, and platelets which they all have the potential to save patients and their lives.
“Long Island is facing a serious blood shortage and the college urges all who are able to participate in this endeavor,” said Mary M Feder, Director of College Relations. “It is also a great reference when applying to a school or job because it shows initiative, responsibility, and empathy.”
If you have given blood in recently, it is required to wait 56 days when you a eligible again. The procedure should all together takes only about 10 to 15 minutes to donate blood, so if you have the heart and the time to donate then it will be appreciated by the entire community and life you can save.