Morrisville, N.C. — Hospitals use blood transfusions every day to save lives, which is why they always need donors. To make donating easier, the Rex Healthcare Bloodmobile travels to workplaces around the Triangle, and many employers are embracing blood donation as part of their corporate culture.
Russ Bandong has been donating blood since high school, but he later learned first-hand what a special gift he had been giving.
When his daughter was born 11 weeks premature, she needed a transfusion.
"So, I went down to the blood bank later that day," Bandong said. "They were transfusing my blood into my daughter. The doctor said it saved her life."
When the Bloodmobile comes to NetApp, the network storage and data management provider where Bandong works, he doesn't hesitate to donate.
The company itself urges all of its employees to participate, and last year, NetApp was awarded for having the most donations among several large companies in Research Triangle Park.
"We have great participation over the last couple of years," said Alison Fiori, site services manager at NetApp. "We've increased the number of drives we've had. We used to have four a year – now we're up to five a year."
NetApp employee Frank Rouse said donating blood is part of the company's culture.
"I just feel it's almost the least somebody can do – donate blood – as long as it's convenient," he said. "There's really no pain, and you get a nice snack afterwards. And then you get to go back to work."
Gena Lentz of Rex Blood Services said about three NetApp employees donate every 15 minutes. The blood helps a wide range of patients, including people with cancer, heart issues or injuries from trauma.
"The one most important fact is that our blood goes to all the local hospitals," Lentz said. "So if you're giving with Rex, your blood is most likely staying in the community."
For more information about the Rex Bloodmobile, including how to schedule a workplace visit, go to www.rexhealth.com/blood-drive-schedule.