College to Unite with New York Blood Center; Evening Hours Offered for First Time

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – To make blood donations and bone marrow registrations more convenient for the College community and local residents, SUNY Orange will experiment with the addition of evening hours to its next blood drive, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 3 in the Fireplace Lounge of the George F. Shepard Student Center.

Evening hours, being offered for the first time, should help expand the pool of potential donors to include those who typically are occupied by work or other responsibilities during the daytime, says Elaine McClung, SUNY Orange’s coordinator of health services. In addition to traditional blood donations, the New York Blood Center will also have its ALYX machine on site to collect donations of red blood cells.

As the regional registry for the National Marrow Donor Program, the New York Blood Center is also actively recruiting individuals to sign up for its bone marrow registry. In particular, minority marrow donors are desperately needed. Potential bone marrow donors first enter the NMDP by completing a short questionnaire and submitting to a cheek swab that is used for HLA (human leukocyte antigen) testing. If a volunteer’s HLA type is a preliminary match for a patient, he or she is contacted for additional testing, a physical examination and counseling. If all is satisfactory and the donor still wants to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells, a donation procedure may be scheduled.

The ALYX is a portable, automated blood component collection system that extracts only red cells from a donor’s blood while returning the platelets and plasma to the donor, along with a sterile saline solution. The ALYX process assures the donor no loss of fluid as a result of the procedure. Whole blood donors typically regenerate their lost fluid/blood in eight hours. An ALYX donation takes approximately 20-25 minutes and not all individuals are eligible to donate on the ALYX.

All donors will receive a free t-shirt. For more information on the bone marrow registry, visit or Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted. Donors are encouraged to eat and drink prior to donating, and are required to provide proper identification (showing proof of age) and social security number. To schedule an appointment, contact the SUNY Orange Office of Health Services at (845) 341-4870.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940