Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) partnered with the American Red Cross to sponsor a blood drive in the Hazelrigg Student Union on Sept. 11. Seniors Kaitlin Bierman and Joe Daake, co-presidents of SHAC, were in charge of the event.
This year, an estimated 60 students, faculty and students came to donate 42 units of blood. This is more donations than recent blood drives have collected. Many faculty and staff participated this year, and the SHAC team is hoping for even more to participate in the future. There were also a lot of walk-ins who saw the booth sitting in HSU and decided to donate. However, a lot of people were unable to donate due to health reasons.
“We were really successful in getting a lot of people to come,” Bierman said. “Unfortunately, if you get there and you meet too many of the risk factors, they’ll turn you away.”
Each person willing to donate must take a risk assessment before their blood is taken. Risk factors can include low iron and hemoglobin levels. Donors should focus on eating lots of green foods, which are high in iron, drink a lot of fluids and get adequate sleep starting a week prior to the blood drive.
Students can keep this in mind for future blood drives now that SHAC will be advertising more publicly and in advance.
An individual can donate every 53 days because it takes 107 days to renew all red blood cells in the body. A donation session can take between 15 to 20 minutes for some and longer for others depending on how their body reacts. There will be another blood drive this spring, so students will have another chance to donate later in the school year.
While the blood drive was hosted on campus, it was still open to the community. For this blood drive and drives from years prior, there has been little advertising out in the community. For the upcoming blood drives, SHAC is looking to do more community outreach to get more people involved.
Each unit of blood someone donates saves three lives. Donated blood can be used for blood transitions, immune strengthening, and donating antibodies to contribute to research.
“It’s a good cause, and I know it will help someone in need. If I would ever need it, I would hope someone else would do the same for me,” said Sophomore Chloe Carson.