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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Year-long blood drive gets to the heart of giving

November 8, 2016

Modesto blood driveThe 2016 Delta Blood Bank Blood Drive brought their bus to the Modesto campus parking lot for the third time this year for students, staff and faculty to make one of the most personal donations they can make: Their life’s blood.

26 donors left classrooms, labs and offices and rolled up their sleeves to help the campus meet their goal of 25 pints of blood – one pint from each generous person. “I got my friends to go and do it with me,” says Angela Kottinger, a Medical Office Administration student, who has given blood twice before. “I told them, ‘You can save lives…and you can get a T-shirt and ice cream!’” Who could resist such an attractive sales pitch?

Angela’s friends, along with other donors, completed the forms, made their contribution and enjoyed their “pint for a pint” reward, but she got a little wobbly on this third occasion. “I just got a little dizzy and had to stretch out on the floor,” she admits. “Everyone helped out a lot, giving me fluids, keeping me warm with a blanket and getting me some ice packs to put on my neck. I just wasn’t drinking as much liquids as I should have, but I ended up fine.”

Donors must meet certain criteria such as: No tattoos within the last 6 months; cannot be pregnant or anemic or have left the country recently; cannot have been exposed to anyone with HIV or hepatitis; and must wait at least 60 days after their last blood donation.

Each pint of blood can save three lives in dire need of a transfusion. It takes about 20-30 minutes for the donor’s blood to transfer to an IV bag, as they recline and are made comfortable.

“To date, our campus has saved 171 people through the numerous blood drives we have held on campus this year,” says Cindy Carney, instructor and Diversity Faculty Advisor. “One pint saves three lives, and our goal is to get 200 lives saved this year.”

“I love seeing the students participating and enjoying the process of what they’re doing,” says Cindy. “Knowing that even though they aren’t out in their (medical) field yet, they can still contribute and save lives. It also gives them the chance to interact with the people who work at Delta Blood Bank.”

SJVC students are always on the alert for ways to serve their communities. Medical program students, particularly, benefit from participating in causes and events that are conducted by the medical community. “This (blood bank) can also be a field you might go into since they (medical program students) are already going into the medical field,” says Angela.

“Before 2016 comes to an end, I want to say ‘thank you’ for helping our community blood supply,” says Lisbeth Garcia, Blood Drive Coordinator at Delta Blood Bank. “SJVC students and faculty to-date have saved 171 lives in 2016. On behalf of those patients and their families THANK YOU for being a lifesaver.”

The next campus blood drive is scheduled for December 21st. By then, Angela will be ready for some more ice cream: Half rocky road and half mint chocolate chip.