Blood Drive Saves Lives

DSC00163By Paulina Carrillo

Trying to make a difference in the community the Student Nurses’ Association at College of Southern Nevada sponsored a blood drive for the American Red Cross.

“CSN is a great place to get blood donated because students are often willing to do that,” said Catharine Rinehart, business development manager at the American Red Cross. “The greatest amounts of blood that we get are from students in high schools and colleges.”

In the lobby of building D at Charleston campus on Nov. 12, the blood drive ran for nearly six hours. The American Red Cross assisted students who scheduled their appointments in advance but also caught the attention of students passing by who wanted to donate.

“I jumped in to volunteer because two weeks ago when I was asked to do this I almost lost my brother,” said Roslyn Paluay, member of the Student Nurses’ Association at CSN and coordinator of the event. “That same week my brother-in-law got an ulcer. Then all of the sudden his complete blood count went from 12, which is normal, down to like three. So he almost died. If it wasn’t for a blood transfusion with two bags of donated blood, we could’ve lost him.”

According to the American Red Cross’ website, “Patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers around the country receive Red Cross blood products. Roughly 3.3 million generous volunteer-blood donors roll up a sleeve each year.”

“My mom is a phlebotomist, so it’s interesting to see how many people actually take the time to donate,” said Makynna Meegan, first time donor and CSN student.

“People need it more than me,” said Abraham Aguilar, CSN student and second time donor. “The more blood [Red Cross] has, the better. I think I have the most common type of blood so I know when I donate it’s sure to help someone.”

“The blood donated here in Las Vegas stays within the community,” Rinehart said. “Once the blood has been sent out for testing and filtration, the blood then goes to nine out of the 13 hospitals here in Las Vegas first then out to the rest of the region if needed.”

DSC00168“We strive to collect 920 units every single week for our region and that equates to about 48,000 units a year,” Rinehart said.  “Certain types of blood are good for only five days, 42 days or 12 months frozen. When you’re striving to get 48,000 units, we need to keep those blood drives every single day going within the community.”

“We have a big demographic of people especially at CSN,” Paluay said. “This is a good place to get donors; a lot of people want to help. A lot of people want to donate.”

Joshua Wolf, CSN student, said he has been donating blood since his junior year in high school and plans to donate for as long as he can. Wolf mentioned that if the numbers are correct, he has saved about 18 lives and that makes him feel really good.

“It’s the best thing to do,” Rinehart said. “[Each donation] saves up to three lives. If you do nothing else during the holiday season right now: donate blood. It costs you nothing and it gives to somebody else in need.”

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