Category Archives: Blood Donation

Can You Beat Patrick Heffernan’s 15 Gallon Blood Donation?

When Patrick Heffernan donated blood for the first time in the 1980s, he didn’t think he’d still be donating on a regular basis thirty years later. The former Avon employee has donated at Good Samaritan Hospital 121 times, and once elsewhere, over the past thirty years; the 15 gallons of blood he has donated has the potential of saving 480 lives. Pat started a blood drive at Avon, donating once every few months during his lunch break and has continued donating past his retirement, marking a ‘donate date’ on his calendar every two months. As an avid pin collector, Heffernan has received a pin for every gallon of blood donated. Today, he owns an Avon hat decorated with fifteen pins, a collection he hopes to expand to sixteen gallons or beyond. When asked why he donates so often, Pat Heffernan said, “I enjoy it and enjoy being able to give back.” He also shared his feelings about donating blood while saying, “If you can, why not?”

Blood donations are a critical component to almost every hospital visit but the numbers of blood donations each year are not as high as they could be. An estimated 38% of the United States population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10% actually donate each year. About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital needs blood, averaging out to one person every two seconds. There are about 1 billion red blood cells in three drops of blood and each donation can save up to three lives.

By the numbers, the need for blood donations is evident. More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions in the United States and Canada each year; more than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year, many of them will need blood during chemotherapy, sometimes daily. To keep the numbers in perspective, a single car accident patient can require as many as 100 pints of blood. According to the American Red Cross, 15.7 million blood donations are collected annually in the United States by 9.2 million blood donors.

Blood cannot be manufactured, only donated. A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days or double red cells every 112 days; a healthy donor may also donate platelets as few as 7 days apart but a donor may only donate platelets 24 times per year. Four transfusable products can be derived from blood—red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate and donors can choose whether they would like to donate whole blood or a specific blood component. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation, some in a matter of hours and others in a matter of weeks.

Those interested in donating to the blood banks at Good Samaritan Hospital or St. Anthony Community Hospital and those interested in more information should contact the Donor Room at (845) 368-5178. To donate blood you must be between 17 years old and 76 years old (or 16 with a parental permission slip or note from your physician after your 76th birthday), weigh at least 110 pounds, have a photo ID and have your license number or Social Security Number.

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center recognizes World Blood Donor Day

Blood Donations needed 

In recognition of World Blood Donor Day, local residents can become volunteer blood donors at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center on June 13, 2014, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.  A pair of Rockland Boulders Baseball tickets for a summer home game will be given to all blood donors.

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center operates the only hospital-based blood donor collection facility in the region. This allows Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center to meet the blood transfusion needs of our busy surgical, trauma, oncology, dialysis and medical services.

It is estimated that every two seconds in the United States, someone is in need of a blood transfusion.  Half of all blood used in transfusions comes from donors in the community. Over 2,000 individuals donate annually at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

Last year, the hospital used more than 4,000 pints of blood directly serving the community to save countless lives.  Blood can only come through the generosity of donors; it cannot be manufactured.

If you or your organization would like to sponsor a blood drive, please contact us at 845-368-5178.  The donor room at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am-5:30 pm, and on Wednesdays from 8 am to 4 pm.  Visit   to learn more.

Blood Donations Needed

What if it was someone you loved?

by Patricia Bonnier, Donor Program Supervisor.

You’re driving down the road minding your own business, when suddenly you’re on your way to the hospital. Doesn’t matter whose fault it was, you’re still hurt! Or maybe you’re home watching TV when you get a pain somewhere and your brain tells you “Something is WRONG!” Or worst of all, these things happen to someone you love.

Life has a way of smacking you in the head from time to time, and all of a sudden we’re relying on help from the strangers around us. It could be at the scene of a car accident, or as we’re heading for the emergency room in the middle of the night. We depend on the kindness of strangers to see us through the crisis.

You have the chance to pay it forward and be one of the “kind strangers,” who are willing to reach out to those in need. Blood donations literally save lives; it takes a truly dedicated person to roll up their sleeves and give a precious blood donation to a stranger.

Due to the extreme weather we’ve experienced this winter, we are currently experiencing a blood shortage. Please visit your local facilities blood donor room to help us maintain an adequate supply of blood on hand for our patients.

Starting in 2014 we’ve begun a “LifeSaver Club,” and anyone who pledges to donate at least 4 times this year will be entered into it. It’s a work in progress, but some of the things we’ve planned so far is to have a “wall of fame” in our donor room with all the members listed, express treatment at our blood drives (or in the donor room) and special recognition items over the course of the year.

Bon Secours Charity Health System Blood Donation Information:

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center’s donor room is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from  9:30am-5:30pm and Wednesdays from 8am-4pm. Schedule a donation today!

St. Anthony Community Hospital runs bi-weekly blood drives on Mondays from 2:30pm-8:00pm, and Thursdays from 10am-6pm. Blood drives are also held on the 3rd Sunday of every month from 8am-2pm. The donor site is located in the trailer at 20 Grand Street on the Ground of Mount Alverno.

Bon Secours Community Hospital: Mark your calendars! The next blood drive is Tuesday, March 4th from 9am-3pm in the conference at 168 E. Main Street.

Be the person who helps – Donate Blood Today and save some lives in 2014!


Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Blood Drive

Join us Thursday, December 19th from 9:30am-5:00pm in the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Auditorium. Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is located at 255 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern NY.

The need for blood never takes a holiday, so your LifeSaving donation is very important to help us make sure that we have an adequate supply on hand over the next three weeks! Please take the time to come to our drive, and help us avoid a potential blood shortage.

All donors will receive an AMC Silver movie ticket, in addition to coupons from local vendors. Nicky’s pizza generously supplies a coupon for two slices and a fountain soda to each donor. A raffle will also be held for a $25 Visa gift card, and a $20 gift card from The Turn (located across the street from Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center). Each donor will also get a “goody-bag” at the drive.

Are you a male donor with AB Blood? PLEASE call Pat Bonnier at 845-608-3735 or e-mail to discuss how your donation can be earmarked specifically for the Good Samaritan Emergency Department.

The answer is “I’m not interested”

The question I asked was “Can you come to our blood drive and donate today?”

Really… not interested? That’s what you got? Ok, so I have to maintain my professionalism and not say what’s on my mind, which is “Ten minutes down the road you may be very interested!” Instead, I attempted to thank him for his time, but he was in such a hurry to get away from me that I didn’t have the chance to say anything.

Not interested. Why is it that people become interested only when it’s something shocking, like the horrific events in Boston and Oklahoma? Then I had people calling to see if they could run a blood drive for the victims. Very admirable for sure, but then again, I would’ve liked to have asked them “Where were you 3 weeks ago, when we had a crisis in the emergency room and used 35 units of blood to save a person’s life?” What about those people?

I guess my point is this – every day, in every hospital around the country there’s a crisis of some sort. Their story doesn’t make the evening news, but to the family and friends who are waiting with fingers crossed and prayers on their lips, the well-being and survival of the patient is just as urgent to them.

Thanks to the people who donate frequently simply because it’s the right thing to do, we manage to get the job done. But wouldn’t it be great if everyone who was eligible to donate came out to do just that? No blood shortages… ever! What a concept.

-This post was submitted by Pat Bonnier, Donor Program Supervisor at Bon Secours Charity Health System

Sometimes it’s not a matter of saving lives…

A few months ago I was talking to a group of third-graders, trying to get them to remind their parents about the upcoming blood drive in the school. I gave it my usual “each donation saves three lives” spiel and thought I was doing a good job. Then a little girl raised her hand and asked “If blood saves lives then how come my daddy was sick and he died?” To this day I’m not sure exactly how I answered her question. What I do know is that I cried all the way home and began to wonder if this job was as good as I kept saying it was. I mean, what was it all for?

My mind wandered back to my Uncle Bobby. He came for a week’s vacation and stayed two years because he was diagnosed with cancer while at my house, and we didn’t have the heart to send him back to his little apartment where he would be all alone. Well, long story short – he was terminal, and got to the point where he wouldn’t eat. The day came for his chemotherapy and we almost had to carry him into the facility for his treatment. On this particular day his “numbers” were so low that they had to do a blood transfusion first.

You have to understand that we went in with a very sick, weak man. But while the blood was dripping into his arm for four hours, a miraculous change came over him – his pallor changed from dusky grey to rosy pink, the light came back in his eyes, and he even started gabbing with the nurses and staff taking care of him. When the transfusion and the chemo were over, he got himself up off the bed, patted his belly and said “can we stop at Burger King on the way home?”

From that moment on, whenever he was to go for chemo, my dad would rap on his door and say “Bobby, Burger King tomorrow!” He would smile and anticipate the feast that was to come the next day.

My point? Well, a blood transfusion doesn’t always save lives. But it can make those lives a little better. Taking a bad day for someone who has a lot of them lined up, and turning it into a good one is really a priceless gift. Not only to the “Uncle Bobby’s” of the world, but to their friends and family as well. Remember, for every patient who needs our help, there’s someone waiting by the phone for the daily “how’s he doing?” report.

Your lifesaving gift is just that – a precious gift that can give life, or like ripples in a pond, it can improve the life of patients and families alike. Thank you for supporting us with your donation!

-This post was submitted by Pat Bonnier, Donor Program Supervisor at Bon Secours Charity Health System