Undergraduates Justine Watson and Sherman Binas talk with a visitor to the UD booth at the Apple-Scrapple Festival.

Healthy helping

Groups in Medical Laboratory Sciences reach out to community

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11:45 a.m., Nov. 26, 2012--The Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) at the University of Delaware is small, but its students and faculty are active in community outreach.

During the past three months, groups from the department raised over $1,200 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), volunteered during the Blood Bank of Delmarva CAA Have a Heart Blood Challenge on campus, and hosted an information table at the Apple-Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville, Del.

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According to MLS instructor Leslie Allshouse, the group that raised funds for JDRF intended to participate in the Foundation’s Walk for a Cure, but Hurricane Sandy caused the event to be postponed until January.

For the blood drive, nine members of the MLS club went to a two-hour training session on Election Day. The group also completed UD’s Environmental Health and Safety bloodborne pathogen training online in preparation for their shifts as volunteers. 

“Their job during the drive was to take the donated blood units upon completion of the donation and ‘strip’ the tubing, package the blood properly in coolers for transport back to Blood Bank of Delmarva, and package the blood tubes collected for further testing of the donated blood,” Allshouse said. “Each student worked for three hours, totaling 27 hours of donated time plus their training period.”

For the Apple-Scrapple Festival Health Fair, the department and the Delaware affiliate of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS-DE) hosted a table to provide the public with information about patient safety tips on blood collection, fasting before lab tests, and the patient-friendly website Lab Tests Online.

“We even answered a few questions about lab test results on the spot,” said Mary Ann McLane, professor, who was joined by two MLS seniors, Justine Watson and Sherman Binas. Watson and Binas are also student reps for ASCLS-DE.

Article by Diane Kukich

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