by Maecel Lesther Jed A. Enriquez
Isang Dugo, Isang Buhay – Sagip Dugtong Project, a mass blood donation activity, was held last October 11 at Gulod National High School, Cabuyao City. This was led by the Philippine Red Cross-Laguna Chapter (Cabuyao Branch) in cooperation with the local government of Cabuyao. The project gathered 44 bags each containing 450cc of blood which is equivalent to almost 20 liters.
The blood collected through the project was allocated to indigent Cabuyeños who have undergone operations, accident, dialysis, and others who might need blood.
According to Joey Boy Bernardo, Cabuyao City Branch Coordinator of Philippine Red Cross- Laguna Chapter, donors can be anyone from 16 to 65 years old who pass the qualifications mandated by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). As stated by the PRC, for a person to be qualified in donating blood, he or she must be in good health and at least 16 or at most 65 years old.
However, blood donors who are 16-17 years old must submit a form reflecting their parent’s consent while donors who are 60-65 years old should be a regular donor. A person must also weigh at least 110 pounds, have a blood pressure between: Systolic: 90-160 mmHg, Diastolic: 60-100 mmHg; and pass the physical and health history assessments. Steps before, during, and after donating blood can be found at the website of PRC.
Fifty-nine Cabuyeños participated in the Mass Blood Donation project. However, only 44 were qualified to donate blood. The remaining 15 were deferred due to being underweight as well as having low hemoglobin count and low blood pressure.
Oddie Mariquit, a 45 year-old blood donor, said that he donates blood to help people in need and to avail of free check-up which is conducted before the actual blood donation. He also heard about the different health benefits in donating blood.
Donating blood is beneficial to both blood donor and blood beneficiary, as stated by the Philippine Red Cross. Mr. Joey Bernardo said that blood donation provides blood donors with free check-up on weight, body temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin count. Likewise the process also helps the body produce new cells. “Ang katawan natin ‘pag nagdo-donate ay parang motor, nagche-change oil. Yung mga lumang dugo niyo ay napapalitan ng panibago,” Mr. Joey added.
Aling Merlyn Rosales who resides in Cabuyao City is one of the Cabuyeños in need of free blood. Her daughter, Maelyn Rosales, underwent cesarean operation on October 19. It is very important for them to avail the blood for free because they cannot afford to pay Php1, 500 for each unit of blood in private institutions. Aling Merlyn’s family was able to avail free blood by just bringing the certificate from the hospital containing the units of blood needed, a letter from their barangay certifying their indigency, and her voter’s ID in the PRC Cabuyao Branch located in Cabuyao City Hall.