Javelina for life hopes venue change will attract more blood donors

Javelina for life hopes venue change will attract more blood donors

As two people are driving down a dark, curvy road, they come around a blind corner, and are blindsided.
Emergency vehicles are quick to respond, but the daughter has lost a lot of blood.
When they arrive at the hospital, it is revealed the blood bank does not have her blood type, AB+.
The mother is AB+ as well, but did not give blood when she had the opportunity.
Now, the one thing that could save her daughter’s life is the one thing she didn’t donate.
Every three seconds, someone across the United States needs blood and every day, the Coastal Bend Blood Center is either on location or open for donors.
Texas A&M University-Kingsville (AMK) is no stranger to blood drives and on Monday, Feb. 20, Javelina For Life is hosting a drive at the Javelina Dining Hall.
“It’s a philanthropic event for Javelina For Life,” said Annual Giving Programs Coordinator Erin Paige de Vaudrecourt. “Many people think they need to give money in order to give back, but they don’t.”
de Vaudrecourt says often when the blood bus comes around, they expect 30 people to give, but only two show up.
“This is putting pressure on us,” de Vaudrecourt said. “We’ve changed the location in hopes of getting more donors.”
The blood bus is usually set up in front of the Memorial Student Union Building, but de Vaudrecourt hopes that by setting up at the dining hall during lunch hours, she will see an increase in donors.
Director of Donor Development at the Coastal Bend Blood Center, Erin Survantt, said during this time of year, more people are sick, so the supply of blood is low because not enough healthy donors give.
“We need 120 people a day to meet the demand for blood around the Coastal Bend,” Survantt said.
The Coastal Bend Blood Center’s website offers information on each blood type, where someone can donate blood and the process of donating.
The university needs at least thirty donors during a blood drive, but Survantt
Survantt says this is still a low number considering Kingsville’s population.
Still, she says, high school and college students make up more than 30% of donors, and because blood doesn’t last forever, the more the merrier.
“I like to compare it [blood] to milk,” Survantt said. “Blood has a shelf life of 42 days, but donors must wait 56 days in between donations.”
According coastalbendbloodcenter.org, one unit of blood can be separated into three components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma.
The website also gives donors information on how their specific type of blood can be donated.
Type O donors should donate red blood cells; this process separates the red cells and sends other blood components back to the donor.
“[The] majority of people are O+, one out of three, that is why it is in high demand,” Survantt said. “O- is the type [hospitals] go to in the event of an emergency.”
Architectural Engineering major Jacob Valdez is O+ and gives whenever he can.
“To me, it shows good moral character,” Valdez said.
Type A and AB donors should donate plasma and platelets. These platelets are most commonly used to support patients undergoing treatment for cancer or leukemia.
However, this procedure is only done at the Blood Center’s main collection facility.
Type B, as well as the other types, can donate whole blood, which is the traditional form of blood donation.
The Coastal Bend Blood Center supplies 13 medical facilities across ten counties, including Christus Spohn Hospital in Kingsville.
Interdisciplinary Studies major Adrianna Sulaica donates regularly and feels that the smallest thing can help.
“I know I have an opportunity to help someone,” Sulaica said. “Since I can donate, it helps me do something worth while, like possibly save a life.”
Because not everyone can donate, whether it is because they don’t meet the weight requirements, they have recent tattoos or “rolling veins” that make it difficult for the needle to stay in place, more healthy people that do meet requirements should donate, according to Survantt.
“The need for blood is always there because there is no substitute,” Survantt said.
de Vaudrecourt intends to make the Javelina For Life Blood Drive a successful one.
Students, faculty and the community can preregister for the blood drive by calling de Vaudrecourt at 361-593-4100.
Time slots are available every 15 minutes and three people can be seen at a time.
“We have 7,000 students on campus,” de Vaudrecourt t said. “Why can’t we get 30 or even 120 donors at the blood drive?”