Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs one. Every year, 48 million Americans would die without one. Statistically, 25 percent of us will need one in our lifetime. We are talking about life-saving blood transfusions, a procedure responsible for the use of about 43,000 units of blood each day in the U.S.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center, which is running a blood drive at the Main campus, is a nonprofit organization serving as the only blood provider for 26 hospitals, including St. Luke’s, Easton Hospital and Lehigh Valley Health Network locations.
However, without more regular donations, the Lehigh Valley may face some serious problems in the future.
“Currently a large portion of your community’s blood donations come from the Baby Boom generation, but as this generation ages, they are no longer able to donate and are becoming the recipients of blood transfusions,” said Sean Tinney, director of Marketing & Business Development at Miller-Keystone in Bethlehem.
“If the younger generations don’t start donating more frequently, your community may run into a serious blood shortage in a few years,” Tinney said.
In 2013, a total of four drives collected 255 life-saving donations. While every donation counts, Tinney is calling upon the NCC community to make the upcoming drive on Sept. 17 the biggest ever.
“There is an average of over 63 donations per drive, which is a solid drive,” he said, “but given the student population of NCC I would like to challenge the student body to have at least 75 donations per drive.
“Those 12 additional donations per drive will help save the lives of people within our community,” Tinney said.
The director of Healthcare Education at NCC, Judith Rex, also encouraged the Northampton family to donate.
“Donating blood is an excellent opportunity to impact another person’s life, and should be part of everyone’s volunteerism,” she said.
Cancer tops the chart for illnesses requiring a blood transfusion, accounting for nearly 20 percent of blood usage. With cancer one of the highest killers in the U.S., blood donations are vital.
Miller-Keystone has a strong history at Northampton Community College, having held blood drives on campus since 1997.
Since then, Miller-Keystone has collected 3,360 units of blood at NCC.
NCC students can donate blood at the next drive on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the mobile donation van on campus. The donation process will take less than an hour.
Alternatively, students can help by donating time. Miller-Keystone has two types of volunteer roles eligible for NCC students, donor aides and canteen attendants.
Donor aides help donors and collections staff through the donation process, keeping donors comfortable and assisting staff.
Canteen attendants provide refreshments for donators and monitor their well-being for a short time after their blood has been taken.
Students interested in volunteering can call 610-691-5850 or visit www.GIVEaPINT.org.