A blood drive sponsored by WelLU and the Community Blood Center on Thursday, May 3 will provide an opportunity for eligible donors to give blood to patients in need of transfusions in the Fox Valley area. The drive will happen between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Esch-Hurvis room of the Warch Campus Center.
Erin Buenzli, director of wellness and recreation and the faculty advisor for WelLU, commented on the importance of participation in the drive due to the unceasing demand for blood transfusions everywhere. “The need for blood donations never ends,” she said. “Patients need blood transfusions 24 hours of the day, 365 days of the year.”
As Buenzli pointed out, human blood has no substitute. Because of this, those in need of human blood are completely dependent on the donations of others. “Our blood supply is a result of healthy, caring citizens voluntarily donating blood to be used by anyone who needs it.”
Moreover, the blood is needed locally. The blood donated on May 3 will remain in the area to help community hospitals. The Community Blood Center alone supplies blood to 18 hospitals in Wisconsin and Michigan. Therefore, as Buenzli said, “When you give blood with the Community Blood Center, you help boost the local blood supply.”
Some may think that donating blood is less important if there is no recent disaster; however, senior Maggie Schmidt, Wellness Committee student president, claimed that this is not the case. “Blood is needed in all sorts of instances, whether surgical, for trauma or for transfusions. Even without catastrophic events, there is still a daily need in all hospitals for blood of all types.”
There are, of course, requirements to be met before someone is allowed to donate blood. One of the most important of the “general guidelines,” as Buenzli put it, is that a donor must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent in Wisconsin. The donor must also weigh at least 110 pounds.
In preparation for blood donation, there are also tips to keep in mind. A donor should be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water in the days before the donation and should avoid caffeine.
In addition, they should eat hearty, low-fat meals with protein and carbohydrates, get lots of sleep the night before the donation and wear a sleeveless shirt, or one with sleeves that are easily to roll up. Finally, it is necessary to bring photo identification, such as a driver’s license.
Sophomore Erin Harris, a member of the Wellness Committee, discussed what those donating blood should expect. After receiving a mini-physical that includes the taking of blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin count and pulse, donors will be permitted to relax, listen to music and talk to other donors.
Immediately afterwards, donors will be given something to eat, and during the subsequent two days they will be encouraged to drink lots of fluids and engage only in low-intensity physical activity.
For more questions on the upcoming blood donation, students can speak with any of the representatives that will be available at the blood drive or, for quick information, they can visit http://www.communityblood.org/.