Members of the National Student Nurses Association have organized a blood drive with the American Red Cross to take place in the Rockland banquet room on Nov. 20 from 12:30-6 p.m. in order to help millions of Americans in need of blood.
The American Red Cross provides roughly 40 percent of the nation’s blood and blood components each year, according to its website. Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from donors. However, with only about 38 percent of the population eligible to give blood, the Red Cross is still in need of more donations, as only 3 percent of eligible people donate, according to the American Red Cross website.
The Red Cross manages multiple types of blood donations during which the blood is either taken in its entirety, or only a certain component of blood such as red blood cells, platelets, or plasma is taken. While the process of some donations takes longer than others, they are all vital in saving millions of lives.
Sophomore Brittany Whitley decided to donate blood after realizing how many people were in need of it. Whitley said that in order to donate, all she had to do was complete some paperwork and a medical history to ensure that she was indeed eligible.
Whitley explained that the donation itself took only 10-15 minutes and that because of this, she would consider doing it again. She encourages others to consider donating blood, as it is a small gesture that can truly make a difference in someone’s life.
While sophomore Bailey Martin is not eligible to donate blood, she understands the importance of donations on a personal level.
Martin has a blood disorder that can cause internal bleeding or other complications, and a platelet transfusion would help her survive.
Martin wants to remind the community that “blood transfusions are more common than people realize as they are not only used in emergency situations, but as treatments for different disorders as well.” She herself did not know how much donations mattered until she was diagnosed and saw first-hand how many people needed transfused blood. Martin, like Whitley, encouraged everyone to donate as often as they can to help those in need.
According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States is in need of blood, and that one donation could potentially save up to three lives. Those whose blood type is O negative should consider donating more often because this type of blood has the highest demand, as it is a “universal donor” — that is, just about anyone can be transfused with this type.
Each method of donation has different requirements, so those who want to learn more about becoming a donor can visit the Red Cross website, or participate in the Red Cross Blood Drive at Stevenson University.