Freshman Emily Mensen donates blood. - Photo by Breanna Cole

Be A Saint, Donate Blood

The College of Saint Scholastica Hosts Blood Drive 9/26/17

Breanna Cole
bcole2@css.edu

The time for saving lives is now! Anyone who is willing to donate blood has the potential to save 3 lives. Focusing on the 3’s for a moment, 3 teaspoons of blood can save an infant’s life. It’s truly amazing to see how a simple act of kindness can impact the community.

According to the American Red Cross, there is an estimated 38% of the United States population eligible to donate at any given time. However, less than 10% of that eligible population actually donate each year. That’s less than 3.8% of the entire U.S. population who donate blood. Given this information, there are many reasons why someone chooses to donate blood. However, the number one reason is that donors want to help out others, and they feel that their donation is giving back to the people who need it.

“Ever since I have been able to donate blood, I have been trying to donate as much as possible, because I know personal stories about family members who constantly need blood, so it’s definitely a backstory for me. . . At the same time, it’s good to have blood in my body, but I can regenerate it, so why not help someone else who needs it,” freshman Tyler Russell said.

Another student, Jessica McCormack, also donates blood to help out. “I just really like donating blood, because it goes to people who really need it,” McCormack said.

Many speculate on why eligible people don’t donate. Like people who donate, people who don’t donate have a number of reasons why. The two most common reasons are, “I never thought about it,” or “I don’t like needles.” These thoughts are the reasons why many organizations want to inform the general public (especially potential donors) about the donation process.

The donation process itself is simple. It takes roughly an hour to complete, starting with registration. Then, the patient goes
through their medical history and has a mini physical, which is one of the perks of donating blood. Once these steps are completed, the patient is then ready to donate which usually doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. Once the actual donation is completed, refreshments are provided.

Hosting a blood drive on campus isn’t necessarily an easy task. It takes a lot of commitment physically and mentally. There’s a lot of running around campus, and going through paperwork in order for this to be successful. Not to mention all of the thinking and organization that comes with it. Overall, the process can be very exhausting, but it is worth it in the end. Thanks to the hard work from the Pre-med Club, these blood drives are possible.

“The Pre-med club does this as one of their social events for the entire college. The main reason we do it is because as future doctors, we want to make sure we help the community. We think of this as a good way to help out. The Memorial Blood Drive is the one that provides the greatest amount of blood in the county, so that’s why we do it with them,” explained President of the Pre-med Club Isabella Restrepo-Toro. She continued, “I’m mostly in charge of making sure that there’s advertisement, reserved parking lots, food, and people signing up.”

Outside of the blood drive happening at CSS, people can also donate platelets and plasma. Unlike donating whole blood, people who donate plasma can get paid for it. This could be beneficial to students who are in a healthy standing. Many plasma donors donate for a similar cause.

“I think it’s a fascinating process, going from me, to the lab, to the patient. I have a very strong interest in the healthcare field and medical research,” plasma donor Jeremiah Riendeau said. “The money also helps out a little bit,” he added.

There are many ways to become involved with activities like this. Luckily, CSS looks to serve the community.

“We filled up all of the possible spots that we had available for donating,” Restrepo-Toro recapped, “we did our job, which is very good to hear.”

Simple acts of kindness have the power to change a life. By donating when you can, you are giving someone else a gift that is priceless.