By Mariuxi Mansfield, Staff Writer
With the nation’s blood supply facing significantly low inventory levels, the American Red Cross has issued a critical appeal for blood and platelet donors across the country.
According to Carol Brown Taylor, RN, BS, campus Nurse at the Student Health Services, Fairleigh Dickinson University has hosted the Blood Drive for more than ten years. And last Oct. 27 was not the exception; more than 50 students showed up to donate blood at the SUB.
Even though they need all the blood they can get, donors must meet height, weight, and health requirements.
According to the American Red Cross website, here are some fact about blood needs:
• Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
• Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
• The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
• The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
• It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
• More than 1.68 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
• A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
Also present at the Transylvania Blood Drive was “Be the Match” who allowed students to register at the international Registry Database for bone marrow.
Although, there are some misconceptions about bone marrow donation, students like Taylor Stafford, decided to register.
Elise Johansen, Community Engagement Representative from “Be the Match” said, “920 people are searching for a match in New York and New Jersey; every 3 minutes someone is been diagnosed; 480 people by the end of the day will be diagnosed with some type of blood cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, sycle cell); bone marrow is the last lifeline that they may possible have; patients turn to the registry after they have exhausted all aspects for hope; only 30% of the time an individual has a match within their own family so 70% of the time it’s a complete stranger that save their life.”
Dee Farrington, a resident from the area, found the Blood Drive online at “Be a Match” Farrington’s cousin was diagnosed with leukemia AML in 2015 and now her cousin is waiting for a bone marrow donor. Farrington decided to register herself to help someone else.
Johansen took the time to explain to the students that thanks to their registration, they are not only providing hope for just one individual, they are providing hope for everybody.
“So many people, until it hits their door step, don’t realize what bone marrow donation is, so we have a hard time going out and doing an educational outreach within the community and getting people to step up and register. All it takes is a cheek swap and less than 10 minutes to register.” Johansen said.
Most of the time people are scared of the simple expression “bone marrow” because people think it is a painful procedure. But these days, according to “Be the Match” 80% of the time, this procedure is done on your arms and only 20% need a surgical procedure under anesthesia.
Amanda Salazar, Student Coordinator for Special Events and Projects at FDU and a sister from Alpha Sigma Tau, lived through the experience of receiving an umbilical cord that saved her life. Salazar was born with sickle cell anemia, however, Salazar was lucky enough to find the perfect match when she was 15 years old.
Salazar’s sorority knows firsthand how valuable this procedure is and that is why they co-host “Be the Match” event. Salazar said that all the Greeks are involved because they are well aware of the benefits of the registry for bone marrow.
The next Blood Drive will be in February on Valentine’s day. For more information, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements and https://bethematch.org/