Tech students give blood to save lives

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

Tech has several blood drives each year, all of which are successful. The most recent took place on Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday June 4.

Even though 51 pints of blood were collected on the first day of the blood drive alone, Red Cross statistics prove that Tech’s students can still be doing more to help those in need of blood.

While the turnout for each blood drive is impressive, it is a known statistic that only five percent of eligible adults donate blood on a regular basis. The components that make up blood (red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma) are all perishable, so the need for blood is constant.

The average adult body contains between ten and twelve pints of blood. Most people don’t realize that giving just one pint of blood is the equivalent of saving up to three lives.

There is a constant need for blood products whether it be from cancer patients, crash victims, or sickle cell patients.

It takes only about one hour to complete the entire donation process which includes registration, a brief health history, a mini physical, the donation, and finally refreshments.

Several Tech students that attended the June blood drive in the Student Center were asked to explain something they think more people should know about donating.

Jordan Jones, second-year management student, said “The worst part is the finger prick. The needle doesn’t hurt much, and walking around with the colored band-aid on your arm makes you feel special.”

Donating one pint of whole blood is the usual amount for most donors due to certain restrictions. Blood donor regulations in the United States allow people to donate whole blood once every 56 days. This means that it is possible to save up to nineteen lives every year simply by taking an hour to donate blood.

Anyone over the age of 17 and 110 pounds is eligible to donate blood. After donating, each pint of blood is sent to a Red Cross National Testing Laboratory where it is tested for ten different transmissible diseases. Blood found to contain any of the ten diseases is not used to ensure the safety of the recipients.

When asked about why she was donating at Tech’s blood drive on June 4, Jenny Rainwater, a fourth-year computational media and psychology major, said, “I’ve had four transfusions. I know the importance.” She also agrees that the finger stick during the mini physical exam is the worst part of the donation process.

Out of twelve students spoken to regarding donating blood, five of those students said they know someone who has received one or more blood transfusions. It was a general consensus amongst those who were spoken to that more people should be aware of the need for blood and realize that a small amount of time can make a difference in someone’s life.

After the first day of the blood drive, Tech was only ten pints short of the targeted amount. Although many students at Tech decide to help out, there is still an opportunity for those who haven’t given blood to make a difference.