“HELPING RUNS IN YOUR VEINS”
Within the scope of the Transforma Portugal Project, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL), through the Students’ Support Office, the Faculty of Help and the Students' Association (AEFML), organised a civic initiative open to all Academic Community - Blood Donation Campaign, on the proposal of colleague Isabel Aguiar. It took place between 1-12 March 2021 at the Blood Collection Unit of Santa Maria Hospital.
Empathy and solidarity go hand in hand and lead to a transformation in the way life is experienced, with an impact on social welfare as a whole, on the respect and appreciation of life and on the desire to help others. Empathy drives us to action and it can undoubtedly make a difference. A blood donation is to donate something precious that means giving new hope to those in need.
So, in the current pandemic context, we are very happy with the campaign. As there is shortage of blood, our appeal for everyone's contribution, despite the constraints of a pandemic, was a success!!!
The numbers are…
- Out of the 135 scheduled appointments, 117 blood donor volunteers attended. This represents about 87%.
- Out of the 117 donors, 79% were women and 21% were men.
- In terms of age, about 81% of donors were between 18 and 29 years old. Of these, 58% were between 21 and 25 years old.
- In terms of institutional representation, in addition to FMUL, the following were present:
- 11 donors from the University of Lisbon: Faculty of Law, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Psychology and the Higher Technical Institute.
- 3 donors from other Institutions/Companies: Altice Empresas and GenoMed - Diagnósticos de Medicina Molecular.
- 2 donors from Universidade Nova,: Faculty of Science and Technology and Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
- 1 donor from Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades.
- 1 donor from the Lisbon Higher College of Nursing.
On behalf of the entire team involved in this campaign, we are grateful for your donations, which will certainly make a difference in the current context.
"In this time of pandemic, we must not forget that hospitals continue to need blood donations to save lives. Giving blood is safe and it is essential that the FMUL community continues to be made aware of this need. Well-coordinated donation campaigns, which remind us of carrying out our donation, are great strategies to encourage donation and help ensure that the capacity of blood banks is not exhausted. Giving blood is quick and (practically) painless, and we help someone else".
"My first blood donation happened about 10 years ago. It was a rewarding experience, which I remember fondly, and in which I received more than I gave. Recalling the various moments of blood donation, I find that they have a common denominator: to be welcomed and cherished in an environment that is always serene and joyful. Thank you to all the people who get involved for the common good. With a simple gesture, we share life. Effectively, we can all make a difference. Whether it is when the blood donation materializes, whenever we meet the conditions to do so, or when passing on this message. I congratulate and express my heartfelt thanks to the Students’ Support Office, which, together with the Faculty of Helping and the FMUL Students’ Association, promoted the blood donation campaign "Help runs in your veins". Together we always go further! Let's continue."
"After receiving the email and in view of the scenario we are currently experiencing, it made me think of other ways to help. As I hadn't given blood in a long time, receiving the email was like a reminder that it was the right time to contribute.”
Guilherme: “After a failed attempt to donate blood a month earlier, as soon as I saw the initiative I was immediately excited and hopeful that I could finally make a blood donation. And it really couldn't have gone any better! All the professionals exceeded my expectations. They made us totally comfortable and helped us in all possible aspects. I am grateful for the initiative and I hope to be able to return in a few months, to help someone in need again through the Faculty of Medicine!”
Beatriz: "It was my first time donating and the experience was 5 stars! All the professionals were very attentive and in a good mood. They managed to remove all the fear I had and it ended up being a good time well spent with my colleagues and helping those who need it most! When it is possible, we will do it again.”
Tânia: " I had already thought I should donate blood and I had never done it out of oblivion, honestly. When information about the collection reached us through the Students’ Support Office, we immediately agreed on a day, so that we could be together. Before that, I didn't even know that we could make an appointment, so this information made sure that no one forgot or postponed it.
The booking process was easy and we always got quick answers. In a few months we will be back!"
It is also important to give visibility to those who work in these teams and to recognize their daily effort. In this case, 3 faces representing a vast team from the Blood Collection Unit of Santa Maria Hospital THANK YOU to everyone who is part of it.
Ana Paula Pereira and Ana Rita Sobral
Students' Support Office