story & photo
by William Kenny
Naval Submarine School students and instructors donated 172 units of blood using 20 beds and eight Multiple Collection Stations (MCS) October 15, in support of CT Red Cross Regional Blood Services during the school’s quarterly collection drive.
The MCS allow every unit of collected whole blood to be used to create three separate blood products for patients, to include platelets. Platelets are the ‘sticky’ cell-like particles in the blood that act as building blocks of clotting to control bleeding and are essential to those undergoing chemotherapy as well as bone marrow recipients, because these patients can’t make their own platelets during treatments. Blood donations have a shelf life of approximately one month but platelets must be used within five days.
The 42 hospitals state-wide supported by the American Red Cross CT Blood Services Region require six hundred units of blood daily. The Naval Submarine School continues to be the largest one-day collection point for the Red Cross and the quarterly collection drive is a hallmark of the school’s community outreach for more than a decade.