As part of a commitment to community service, the Student Nurse Association (SNA) at The University of Southern Mississippi is partnering with United Blood Services and the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency for blood and bone marrow drives on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
The drives will be held from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. in room 119 of the School of Nursing building on the Hattiesburg campus.
The SNA has set a goal of 100 donors for the blood drive and 30 for the bone marrow drive. Sharon Easterling, an undergraduate instructor in the School of Nursing, said these drives are a means for the students to give back to the community by assisting local hospitals in keeping their shelves stocked with available blood for patient use.
“So many advances in medicine have occurred just in the last 25 years that I have been a nurse,” said Easterling. “Still remaining, though, is the fact that nothing can take the place of blood.”
All blood types are needed during the drive and donors must be 16 years of age or older and weigh at least 110 pounds. The blood donation process takes approximately one hour, while the bone marrow donation takes less than five minutes. A person may not donate under any of the following conditions:
• Currently taking antibiotics
• Have cold or flu symptoms or do not feel well
• Had hepatitis after the age of 11
• Ever had a positive hepatitis B or C test
• At a risk of catching or spreading the AIDS virus
Easterling knows firsthand the importance of blood donations. Her daughter, Kelli Ferris, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4 and received numerous blood transfusions during three years of chemotherapy. She is now a freshman in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Southern Miss.
“Many donors came forward to make sure Kelli received the blood that she needed, but it was the blood of the anonymous donor that had been given prior to Kelli’s diagnosis that saved her life,” said Easterling. “I will never know who that donor was, who so unselfishly gave his or her blood, but I will be forever thankful.”
For more information about the upcoming blood and bone marrow drives, contact Easterling at 601-517-8358.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.