2013 Blood Drive Generates 167 Donations

NorthBay Healthcare employees and members of the public answered the call on Monday and Tuesday this week of three moms eager to replenish the blood supply after their children needed special support.
Phlebotomy technicians Dana Aleman and Leticia DeGracia, and critical care nurse Elizabeth Gladney all have children who contracted Kawasaki disease in the last two years, and all three needed treatments of intravenous immunoglobulin, a blood product that requires 1,000 donors to make a single dose.
Now these NorthBay moms want to give back, so they joined forces with Katie Lydon, clinical manager for Women’s and Children’s Services and Rowena Vince Cruz, a clinical lab scientist at NorthBay Medical Center to plan this week’s events.
One hundred and ten units were collected at drives on Monday. Employees were encouraged to visit one of the two Bloodmobiles in the parking lot at NorthBay Medical Center, while the public was encouraged to go to Solano Town Center’s parking lot, right across the street, and give a donation. A number of donors said Monday they just saw the signs and pulled over.
The effort continued on Tuesday at the VacaValley Health Plaza, where more than 50 had pre-registered for a scheduled appointment.
The three moms shared their stories in FYI (Oct. 2 issue) as well as with local media. Part of their mission is also to educate the public about Kawasaki disease, a rare disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels in children, mostly under the age of 5. It starts out looking like the flu, and is impossible to accurately diagnose until Day 5. It can prove fatal or leave a child with permanent coronary artery damage if not caught in time. Fortunately, in all three cases, diagnosis came within the first 10 days.