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Sucking Blood for the Wicked Wellness Week

By Sandy Lugo
On October 26, 2011

  • Blood drive at TAMIU. Photo by Sandy Lugo
  • TAMIU Students ready to donate blood. Photo by Sandy Lugo

On Wednesday October 26, 2011 from 9a.m. to 3p.m., South Texas Blood and Tissue Center received donations from more than 28 students and the community in general at Texas A&M International University. The goal of the STBTC was to reach 66 donations at the Student Center Parking Lot. This blood drive was part of the Wicked Wellness Week.

Their information booth was located in the Student Center where many students were signing in to start the donation process. A prescreening and a mini-physical were made before the donation to make sure the iron levels were in good conditions. Students filled out the forms and waited for their turn. Information was screened on the computer and then the process began. The donor had to lay down and with sterilized materials the technician inserted the needle. After the bag was full, a sterile bandage was wrapped around the person's arm and they were ready to go. Those TAMIU students participating received t-shirts, deodorants, and other prices. All those persons who donate between October 1 trough December 23 of 2011 will be entering a drawing on December 24 to win a 3-D Plasma TV and an opportunity to win a 2012 Toyota Tundra Truck.

Anyone older than 16 years of age and weighs at least 120 pounds, with a parental consent, or teenagers of 17 years old with a weight of at least 110 pounds and in a good general health, are able to donate blood. It is recommended that the donor does not drink a lot of water, caffeine, and they should eat a good meal. This is for the safety of the donor, as Lisa Guzman a recruiter of STBTC stated, "Lab work is totally different from when you donate. When you donate… a lot of blood that we're going to take from you… it's ok for you to eat… so you don't feel a little sick."  To encourage students to donate they receive an orientation of how the system works.

The blood is processed and checked after the person has donated to make sure it is in good condition and ready for another person to receive it. It is a lengthy process that follows different stages taking about a day to be directed to the hospitals. 100 hospitals are being supported by the STBTC and Laredo has three of those 100 hospitals that obtain the blood from this bank. STBTC goes to businesses, high schools, Universities and throughout the community where they have annual drives. If any person wishes to donate someone specifically STBTC, also, has replacement drives.

For more information about donations you can visit or contact Elizabeth Dodier at (956) 326-2235.

(Sandy Lugo May be reached at

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