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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
TSTC Heroes Aid United Blood Services
[Monday, June 18, 2012]
A blood donation to United Blood Services (UBS) represents more than a drop in a bucket.
UBS Regional Manager Dina Hoppenstedt recently stood outside the blood mobile parked on the west side of the Student Center and encouraged Texas State Technical College Harlingen (TSTC) students and employees to add a pint to the UBS supply used by 18 hospitals between Brownsville and Roma. Surgeries and other medical procedures usually demand an average of 175 pints of blood daily in the Rio Grande Valley, she said.
Amidst an estimated population of 1.2 million potential donors in the Rio Grande Valley, less than 2 percent donates blood, Hoppenstedt said. She has heard a long list of excuses: hatred or fear of needles; the risk of AIDS or other diseases; cannot stand the sight of blood, and one pint does not make a difference.
However, she has an equally long list of answers to contradict the excuses: the donor only feels a small pinch; UBS uses sterile needles and equipment; turn away as the technician covers the site with a gauze pad, and each pint of blood is separated into components so one pint may help up to four patients. She also dispels myths like those with diabetes cannot donate blood (diabetics who inject insulin are suitable donors) and hospital patients who require transfusions pay for blood (hospitals charge a fee for collecting, testing, processing and distributing blood).
Blood donors may give a pint every eight weeks. According to UBS, if everyone who donated blood once a year would donate twice a year, blood shortages could be eliminated in the Rio Grande Valley. Organizations or groups who wish to sponsor a blood donation drive may contact Hoppenstedt at 956.648.8575 or
. Information about blood donations is available online at
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