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You Can Save A Life By Giving Blood

April 19, 2013 by admin

By Joe Reyes

   Would you believe that New Jersey is the lowest blood-donating state in the country? Less than 2 percent of the people of New Jersey donated blood last year. The biggest problem is that most of the blood donated remains in the state in which it was given.
   The National New Jersey Blood Center official site says, “Each donation can save up to three lives.” Over 44,000 donations are needed every day in the United States. Many Americans don’t donate. 
   On Tuesday April 9, BCC sponsored a drive for donating both blood and bone marrow.
   Sometimes people need an incentive to donate blood. Getting out of class for an hour or two persuaded high school students to do it.“I donated blood in high school. A lot of people did, but they did it to get out of class,” said Rebecca Hill, an 18-year-old freshman history major from Hazlet
   Companies like Best Buy have semi-yearly blood drives and offer gift cards to people willing to donate blood.
“For a $15 gift card, theycan have 2 pints of my blood” said Michael Smith, a 19-year-old, second semester criminal justice major from Tinton Falls said.
   Red cells, platelets and plasma are all taken from a single donation. Each component has an expiration date for when it can be used. Red cells can be stored up to 42 days. Platelets expire after five days. Plasma can be frozen and stored for up to a year if necessary, though blood is always in high demand.
   “A large amount of chemotherapy patients need blood transplants. After a car accident, a patient might need around 100 pints of blood,” said Jessica Law, accounts manager for the Central New Jersey Blood Center.
   Something else that you can donate to save lives is bone marrow. “Donating bone marrow can save the lives of people fighting leukemia and other types of blood cancer” said Traci Conforti, a member of the Psi Beta & the Psychology and Human Services Club on Campus. Conforti was an active member during the blood drive.
   DoSomething.org says that a patient's likelihood of finding a donor that will give them bone marrow ranges from 66 percent to 93 percent, depending on race or ethnicity. 
   The likelihood of finding
a donor is estimated at:
- 66 percent for African 
American patients
- 72 percent for Hispanic or 
Latino patients
- 73 percent for Asian and 
Pacific Islander patients
- 82 percent for American 
Indian and Alaska Native 
patients
- 93 percent for White 
patients
 “On Wednesday April 24, Brookdale’s Western Monmouth campus in Freehold is sponsoring a bone marrow drive to students and all others willing to donate,” said Conforti.
   Bone marrow can be extracted from the blood itself or from the donor’s hip bone. The doctor giving the procedure makes the assessment of which method is best for the patient. Bone marrow replaces itself within 4 to 6 weeks.
   The Hugs for Brady foundation was created to help the children who are battling cancer. They organize blood, platelet and bone marrow donations. It is a nonprofit organization and all the profits go to helping those with cancer and their families. Brookdale sponsors two blood drives a year in April and October. 
   The demand for blood, platelets, and bone marrow is constant. At any given time there is someone in need of blood. There are blood drives scattered all across New Jersey. A simple donation can go a long way to help save a life.
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