Medical technician Ralph Rodriguez prepares to find the vain on Tucumcari City Commissioner Jimmy Sandoval during the blood drive held at the convention center Saturday. At right, registered nurse Karen Gehrke of Albuquerque visits with Elaine Pachec
For many, losing blood usually brings to mind thoughts of Dracula and his minions. But for some people in Tucumcari on Saturday at the blood drive being sponsored by the Tucumcari city government, the possibility of losing some of their life-supporting fluid was a pretty good feeling.
“It’s important to give blood,” said Clara Rey, administrative assistant for the City of Tucumcari and who was handling the administrative responsibilities at the blood drive held at the convention center. “And I just feel anything we can do to help out is important.”
According to Nurse Practitioner Karen Gehrke of United Blood Services of Albuquerque who was in charge of the traveling program, the blood drive comes to Tucumcari “three or four times a year,” to take blood donations of the individuals of the area.
“We’re always impressed with the people of this area,” said Gehrke. “They know how important it is and they usually turn out pretty well.”
She did admit that often in December blood donation can be down because of all the other things going on which can prove to be a distraction.
“But we seem to be doing OK,” said Gehrke.
Rey agreed, with Gehrke as to December being a challenging month to get people out to give blood, but she too was impressed with Saturday’s turn out.
“This time of year tends to be a hard time to get people, but I’ve got to say, it’s pretty good,” said Rey about the seven different stations where people donating blood could lie down while their blood was taken by one of the nine medical professional. “It’s been pretty busy.”
Each different individual donating blood had a different reason for donating, but according to Gehrke, the reasons were all good, because with the approaching holiday season, the blood was definitely needed.
“When my son was in the hospital, I gave blood then, and I realized how important it is,” said Elaine Pacheco of Tucumcari. “So I give now, too.”
For some, the reason to donate blood is even more basic.
“Well,” said city commissioner Jimmy Sandoval who expressed an extreme fear of needles as he laid on the bed with a needle in his arm, “it’s the right thing to do isn’t it?”