NTCC hosting blood drives in coming weeks

Published 3:22 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Northshore Technical Community College and Ochsner Blood Bank are teaming up to host five community blood drives in observance of Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

The month of September draws attention to blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, which are the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Both adults and children can be affected. Blood cancer patients may undergo several treatments, such as chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation, often leaving a patient’s blood supply depleted or impaired. Blood transfusions are then needed and the only source for blood is a volunteer donor. Volunteers ensure a safe and adequate blood supply. These blood drives were originally all scheduled to take place in September, but Hurricane Ida pushed some of them into October and November.

“Blood is needed for a variety of medical needs, but blood transfusions are crucial for cancer patients as they use one-fourth of the nation’s blood supply,” said Dr. Donny Dumani, section head of transfusion medicine, Ochsner Health. “We can help save someone’s life or bring a patient relief with the simple act of donating blood. We, at Ochsner Health, are grateful to Northshore Technical Community College for helping to raise blood cancer awareness and encourage blood donation.”

The blood drives are open to the public and will take place at NTCC campuses across the Northshore. For every blood donation, $15 will be allocated to supplies used by two Ochsner Health pediatric patients, Lawson Haas and Wyatt Felarise. Lawson is 7 years old and currently fighting Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Wyatt is 4 years old and suffers from an autoimmune disorder requiring him to have blood transfusion every two weeks. In addition to saving a life, donors will receive a free T-shirt and their name will be entered into a raffle to win a pair of Plaza Level tickets to a New Orleans Saints home game. Drawings will occur the Thursday before each home game, every donor will be included in every drawing.

The blood drives are scheduled as follows:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 28, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Livingston Campus, 11640 Burgess Ave., Walker. To schedule an appointment, visit ntccwalker.ochsnerbloodbank.org.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Lacombe Campus, 65556 Centerpoint Blvd., Lacombe. To schedule an appointment, visit ntcclacombe.ochsnerbloodbank.org.
  • Monday, Oct.18, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Hammond Area Campus, 111 Pride Drive, Hammond. To schedule an appointment, visit ntcchammond.ochsnerbloodbank.org.
  • Monday, Nov. 8, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Florida Parishes Campus, 7067 Hwy. 10, Greensburg. To schedule an appointment, visit ntccgreensburg.ochsnerbloodbank.org.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 10, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., Sullivan Campus, 1710 Sullivan Dr., Bogalusa. To schedule an appointment, visit ntccgreensburg.ochsnerbloodbank.org.

All healthy adults are encouraged to donate blood. Volunteers may donate blood every eight weeks. Donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds; be over cold or flu symptoms for 72 hours; and have had no transfusions or tattoos in the last 3 months.

“The health and wellness of our community is central to the success of our mission. We are truly grateful to Ochsner Health for their collaboration in reaching multiple communities and families served by our college,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, chancellor of Northshore Technical Community College.