WRITTEN BY: ANTHONY PEARSON
The 1300 residence hall’s second floor multi-purpose room was quite a bit busier than usual on Monday, March 21, as the American Red Cross organization held an all-day blood drive from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The blood drive, which required registration in advance, was sponsored by the residence hall and came complete with snacks and drinks on hand for the donors. Blood samples were taken from each donor to make sure they were strong candidates for the process, at which point they were given a series of questions to determine whether they were at risk of carrying any blood-borne illnesses. At this point, the blood drawing process begins, in which about one pint of blood is usually drawn and stored. According to Kara Heeb, a participant in the blood drive, the experience is fast, easy, and rewarding.
“The needle really only feels like a pinch, then it’s over! After you’re done there are snacks like Cheez-Its, Oreos, and other little things and bottles of water that are completely complimentary!” Heeb said. “If you want to know your blood type they can tell you once you come back after your first donation, since they’ll have it on record. You can only donate once every six weeks but it’s so worth it! Easy and relatively painless volunteering that ends with snacks and can save a life.”
To say that donating blood can save a life is an understatement. Blood for transfusion is absolutely crucial to hospitals around the country. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood – with daily demand for red blood cells reaching approximately 36,000 units every day. In addition to trauma, diseases such as the common and potentially deadly sickle-cell disease (SCD) often require their sufferers to receive transfusions. Almost 100,000 people suffer from the genetic disease in the U.S, which leads to deformed blood cells that cause increased risk for stroke, painful “sickle cell” attacks, and a host of other health problems. Other diseases, including cancer, help contribute to the constant need for blood in the U.S. healthcare system. With a never ending need for such a valuable, life-saving resource, donating blood really is an easy way to save a life – and, of course, get a free snack or two as well. Temple University generally hosts blood drives a few times a year, and donation centers can be found at American Red Cross locations around Philadelphia.