The blood banks keep filling up
GC’s American Red Cross Blood Drive produces high turnout
A record amount of blood was donated last week at the John Sallstrom Blood Drive sponsored by the GIVE Center.
The drive, named after retired Georgia College Vice President John Sallstrom, brought in 253 units of blood and took place from Aug. 21 to Aug. 22. The previous record was 206 units of blood from the blood drive last spring.
“A unit of blood is one pint,” said Barrett Roell, blood drive executive board member and junior management and marketing major. “The Red Cross tells us that one pint helps save three adults or nine babies.”
The first day of the two-day drive produced 114 units while the second gave 139 units. Combined, GC potentially saved the lives of 2,277 babies.
In June GC Athletics was awarded with the American Red Cross Peach Belt Conference Gift of Life Challenge Champion award for having the most participants in Red Cross blood drives during a school year.
Allison Smith, blood drive executive board member and junior marketing major, likes to keep the ultimate goal in mind when thinking of blood donation.
“It’s not as bad as it sounds. The experience isn’t painful,” Smith said. “If you weigh the benefits, it’s just one needle, and you can save nine babies. I think it’s worth it.”
The state of Georgia is a net importer of blood, meaning it does not have enough blood to keep up with the needs, so it must import blood from other states. The Red Cross reported 38 percent of the population is able to give blood, but only 8 percent actually donates.
Lauren Kuenzi, junior biology major, believes donating is worth the time.
“It saves lives,” Kuenzi said. “I just always felt that it was the right thing to do, like a civil duty.”
The only way the American Red Cross can receive blood is through donations. According to its website, more than 44,000 blood donations are needed daily,and one car accident victim could need up to 100 pints of blood.
“Blood can only stay on the shelves for 47 days before it can’t be used anymore,” Roell said. “That’s really a small window because there is always a need for blood.”
The American Red Cross website offers tips about how to prepare for a blood donation which includes maintaining a good iron level, drinking an extra 16 ounces of water before donating and eating a healthy meal before donation.
If you are thinking of donating blood and have questions, the American Red Cross’ website has advice for first-time donors. GC’s next blood drive is scheduled for Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 and anyone donating will receive a free T-shirt. You can go to redcrossblood.org/make-donation and use the sponsor code “gcsu” to register now or email email@example.com.