One hundred sixty donors turned out for the American Red Cross blood drive Feb. 12 – 14. The drive, sponsored by the D’Lions, was held in the May Room of Wilson Commons.
The D’Lions host three blood drives each academic year, two in the fall and one in the spring. Last week’s blood drive proved to be the most successful for this year — up from 108 and 102 donors during the October and December blood drives, respectively.
“With the exception of the last drive, we were yet to meet our goal,” D’Lion blood drive chair and sophomore Sasha Eloi said.
“We were pleased to have done it this time around,” she said.
The D’Lions help to make blood drives possible at UR. “Primarily the D’Lions publicize the event,” Eloi said. “We are also responsible for running the sign in desk and answering any questions students may have. The D’Lions also assist in setting up for the blood drive and cleaning up after,” she added.
Blood donation is especially critical right now with winter storms and bad weather conditions crippling the blood supply, according to the American Red Cross. Some areas even have less than a one day supply of blood on hand, and other locations are anticipating blood shortages.
According to the American Red Cross, each blood donation is divided up into its component parts — red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Each part provides benefits to different patient groups including those with cloghtting problems, patients undergoing cancer therapy and burn victims.
More recent ways to help those in need include the ability to donate platelets or plasma through a process called apheresis. Before platelet and plasma donations were possible, these blood components would have to be gathered from multiple blood donations to have enough for one transfusion.
These processes do take a little more time. Platelet donation takes about two hours, while plasma donation only takes 15-20 minutes longer than a regular blood donation.
Donors can give blood as frequently as every 56 days and platelets and plasma can be donated every 48 hours. With platelet and plasma donations there are limitations to the number of donations that can be made in one year.
“Giving blood helps people who have been in an accident or are hemophiliacs,” junior Jennifer Lawrence said. “It’s an easy thing you can do for your community.”
Lawrence also mentioned family tradition as part of her reason to give blood. “My grandfather donated more than 10 gallons of blood,” she said.While donations were higher this time around, blood drive organizers still believe the more donations the better. “Hopefully more students will decide to donate in the future,” Eloi said.
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