Last Wednesday, my fellow SERVE Volunteers assisted the Health team of the Lasallian Community Development Center in conducting this month’s blood letting activity entitled “Dugo mong alay, pansagip buhay.” (More photos here)
Blood letting or finding students from DLSUD who’d volunteer to donate part of their blood to replenish the stocks of the University Medical Center’s blood bank has been a traditional volunteer work here in university.
The usual goal for each blood letting activity is to fill 60 bags of blood, each having a capacity of 500cc or 500mL of blood. The toughest part for us SERVE Volunteers is to find those who are willing to donate their blood. We try almost any legal means to encourage our fellow students in donating part of their blood. From using moral persuasions of being able to help saving lives to the material comfort of a free meal just for them to donate part of their blood.
Of course, those who step up must qualify legally, meaning they have to be 18 years old and above and medically, they must weigh at least 100lbs, must be in good health and definitely have not consumed alcohol for the past 48 hours.
Once they qualify, they fill-up the standard forms, our blood letting team, who are trained medical personnel, take some tests like blood typing, then proceed to drawing part of their blood.
This part, where the needle is inserted into a vein on their arm is the most nerve-wracking moment of the experience as told by those who have donated their blood. Filling up the bag with almost 500cc with blood could take any where from half an hour to almost two hours depending upon the condition of the donor. Some remain conscious and very alert all throughout some doze off half-way. All of them are satisfied that their little sacrifice will save hundreds of lives in the future. Almost all of them would return to donate some more once their bodies have replaced the donated blood.
Over-all, this simple act of charity and generosity is what makes us truly human and Lasallian.