Letran Community Volunteers Conducts Bloodletting with DOH

By: Aianna Xyril Monsod, Sophia Pacheco
September 22, 2023

A Letran faculty member participating in LCV’s bloodletting activity, “Dugong Alay, Dugtong Buhay”. Photo courtesy of Allen Matthew Velasquez of The LANCE.

The Letran Community Volunteers (LCV) organization together with the Department of Health (DOH) and Community Extension Department (CED) held a blood letting "Dugong Alay, Dugtong Buhay" event at the Salon de Actos, Thursday, September 21.

The donation event catered to Letranites and external volunteers aged 16-65 years old who are willing to donate their blood for medical use in surgery, other health concerns such as of the heart and brain and to aid people who are in urgent need of it. 

Anya Acierto, a 19-year-old student and first time blood donor, talked about her experience donating blood.

“Gusto ko mag-donate dahil before, yung lola ko kailangan niya kasi ng blood donation lagi dati and wala kasi lagi ‘yung blood type niya so gusto ko mag-donate para makatulong din sa ibang tao.”

Student volunteer and regular blood donor, Lyka Mae Salas, encouraged her fellow and able citizens, especially the youth to partake in humanitarian events such as the blood donation as it aims to add life to other individuals in need.

“Siguro masasabi ko na lang [na], go donate your blood. Kasi makakatulong naman ‘to sa ibang tao lalo na sa mga nangangailangan. ‘Di naman natin masasabi sino may kailangan [or what], pero para sa [ano na lang], bigla-biglang pangangailangan ng ibang tao. Ano naman yung makatulong man lang dahil sa konting dugo [diba]."

Other blood donors who shall remain anonymous also expressed their fulfillment during the donation drive and further advocated the purpose of the event.

“Sabi [rin] kasi ng iba, maganda sa kalusugan ang nagdo-donate ng dugo, napapalitan ng panibago. Parang sirkulasyon, maganda ang takbo ng dugo. Medyo kabado. Syempre meron [challenges], [ah] parang nacha-challenge ako kung kakayanin ko ba yung pag tusok ng karayom, ‘yong [kung] mahihilo ba ako pag bigla akong tumayo, ‘yung ganon."

"Ang advice ko lang [‘no] ‘wag kayo matakot mag-donate ng dugo. Maganda sa kalusugan natin ‘yan. Makakatulong pa tayo sa nangangailangan ng dugo."

Mr. Deo Espinosa, a nurse and donor recruitment officer from the Philippine Blood Center (PBC) under the Department of Health (DOH), stressed that there is a growing number of demand for bloods with 200 units requested per day.

Patients from various backgrounds, including those undergoing dialysis, childbirth, and surgeries, all rely on blood donations for their treatment and survival. Some patients even require a minimum of four units of blood, highlighting the pressing need.

“We at Philippine Blood Center, ginagamit po naming blood bags is quadruple blood bags. Hindi po pinupuno iyong apat na ‘yon… Iyon po ay isang unit na then yung tatlo, iseseparate po yung mga other components ng dugo… bawat donor kayang magbigay ng four units na dugo. So pwede syang makapag save ng buhay hanggang apat,” Espinosa added.

The DOH emphasized that blood donation also corresponds to a legal responsibility, as declared in the RA 7719 or the Blood Services Act of 1994. It promotes voluntary blood donation without any form of compensation.

Espinosa affirmed blood donors are carefully screened by medical officers. Only individuals with a healthy body and approval from a doctor are allowed to participate. 

He also addressed some misconception about giving blood further explaining the recommended time and duration of giving out one's blood.

“Iniisip ng iba na pag nag donate ka eh medyo bababa yung hemoglobin mo, mahihimatay ka, hindi pwede mag donate mga babae [dahil] may monthly period. Of course lahat po muna ‘yan ini-iscreen ng ating doctor. Kung hindi naman po kayo pupwede, di kayo papayagan. At ulitin ko lang po ‘no, every after 3 months or 12 weeks pwede po mag donate ang tao.”

Ms. Jackielyn P. Ilustre, a registered social worker and community organizer under the CED, provided significance to this kind of activity. 

“Kaya nga ang theme natin for all the bloodletting is ‘Dugong Alay, Dugtong Buhay’. Dinudugtungan natin ‘yong buhay ng mga taong lumalaban para sa buhay nila… We are organizing this kind of event to help yung mga taong ‘yon na gusto talagang mabuhay pa,” Illustre said. 

Asst. Prof. Leo Bernadas, Director of CED, announces they are planning to have three bloodletting activities for the school year 2023-2024.