Duhawks DUnating blood
-LORAS COLLEGE – DUBUQUE – IOWA -AMERICAN RED CROSS –
By Celia Balderston
Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Did you know that one power red blood donation, a donation of just red blood cells, can save up to 3 people? On Tuesday, Nov. 12, DuHealth sponsored the semi-annual blood drive on campus in the ACC ballrooms.
This past Tuesday, many Duhawks volunteered to give back. At this blood drive, participants had the option to donate blood or plasma (two different blood components that help different people experiencing physical trauma). At the drive, volunteers had to sign in, go through the history of their health, get their hemoglobin level (red blood cell level), blood pressure, and pulse read, and pass all of these things in order to donate blood. If participants pass these markers, they are brought to an array of portable medical beds where they have to lay down. After they are situated, the nurse will set up blood donation and draw the participant’s blood. The blood donation consists of a liter of blood for the volunteer. Throughout the whole blood donation process, volunteers that were helping the red cross, both from Loras and from the community, would hand students water and keep donors entertained by talking to them and keeping them company.
After the donation is finished and the volunteer feels well enough to leave the donation bed, they are led to a refreshment area where all of those who donated are encouraged to spend 15 minutes sitting down, drinking juice and have a snack that are both high in sugar. While participants were at this table, they were given a t-shirt for donating blood.
For many, it can take as long as 5-10 minutes to donate blood. Although the process is somewhat painful, the outcome is major. If you donate blood you are not only saving 3 lives, you are helping patients who need transfusions for cancer treatments, surgeries, trauma recovery, and much more. As of right now, only 10% of the American population donates blood, even though over 38% are eligible to donate. Even if you think you might not qualify, schedule an appointment and get checked out by some of the nurses. The demand for donated blood is critically high; you never know who’s life you might be saving by taking a little risk!
If you are interested in donating blood, platelets, or plasma, you can visit www.redcross.org for more information. Read up on material on different blood donation websites and gather enough information to make an informed decision about whether or not you would like to give blood. Next February, there will be another blood drive on campus. We hope to see you there!
Look at the graphic for more details on how 1 blood donation can help many