HOUSTON (Dec. 19, 2012) – Donate blood and help save a life is a general motto for many medical and health care institutions. Each donation can help many patients battle their illnesses, including cancer.
To continue the goal of saving lives, the MD Anderson Blood Bank and Lone Star College-Kingwood will host a blood drive at the college Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in a donor coach in parking lot C. No appointments are necessary; anyone can show up during those times to donate.
“The purpose of the blood drive is to provide life-saving blood to cancer patients. For example, Leukemia and Lymphoma cancer patients use blood components regularly in their therapies,” said Marie Camarata, Kinesiology and Nutrition professor at LSC-Kingwood. “This blood drive will also go to help patients who need blood during surgery.”
Giving whole blood takes 30 to 45 minutes and double red cell donation takes 45 to 60 minutes. All eligible individuals are encouraged to participate. Blood donors are required to bring a personal photo ID (such as a state issued drivers license or ID, passport, military ID, work ID, school ID, green card or work visa); be at least 17 years of age; weigh a minimum of 110 pounds; be hydrated prior to donating; eat a sensible meal within two to four hours before; and be in good general health. Donors will receive an appreciation gift and refreshments.
The goal is to collect 40-50 units of whole blood and double red cells. Once the donations are collected, the blood will be transported back to MD Anderson where it is separated into red cells, platelets and plasma, tested and transfused to patients. One donation can help up to three different patients.
According to Natasha Hastings, community representative for MD Anderson Blood Bank, while surgery and trauma patients can use a lot of blood, patients with Leukemia or Lymphoma can use up to 400 separate blood components during their treatment. The blood drives are an important resource in collecting different types of blood. Without it, there are times when patients may have to wait longer than necessary for a transfusion or not receive one at all.
“In September, a patient’s surgery was cancelled because we did not have 50 units of O negative blood on the shelf. She had to wait more than a month to have this surgery while we collected enough O negative blood,” Hastings said. “Some patients may not have another chance for surgery. Luckily, this one did.”
Since 2003, LSC-Kingwood has partnered with MD Anderson Blood Bank to hold numerous blood drives during the fall and spring semesters. According to Camarata, this is one of the ways that the campus gives back to the community.
“Most people have been touched by family members and friends who have or had cancer. We feel that the drives are a wonderful way to help someone who is fighting a terrible disease,” she said. “We want to be a part of making cancer history.”
For more information on the blood drive or eligibility standards and requirements, call MD Anderson Blood Bank at 713-792-7777 or visit its website at www.mdanderson.org/bloodbank.