Red Cross: driven to donate

HUNTER FRENCH | frenc019@rangers.uwp.edud

Generosity is a precious thing in today’s society. Giving to others in need is a crucial part of many people’s lives, especially when it comes at absolutely no cost to the donor. Donating blood is a risk-free way that students can give back to the community and help others.

Donating blood does more than simply help out: it saves lives. About 36,000 units of blood are needed everyday in the United States. Healthcare professionals use these units to perform transfusions, the transfer of blood components into a patient’s system. Without these transfusions, many sick or injured people would die. The Red Cross blood supply relies entirely on voluntary donors to provide blood to patients in need.

Unfortunately, the winter months pose a very real threat to the blood supply. Eighty percent of the Red Cross’s donations come from organized blood drives all over the country. In the final months of 2016, brutal winter weather forced several blood drives to cancel, and took its toll on the donor turnout at many others. As a result, the national blood supply has fallen to dangerously low levels.

In order to combat the shortage created by blood drive cancellations, blood banks are  calling for donors to schedule appointments at local donation centers. Donating is easy! The entire process takes about an hour and 15 minutes, and is divided into four steps: registry, medical history review/examination, donation, and refreshments. The donation itself takes about 12 minutes, and consists of blood being drawn through a sterile hollow needle for collection. Some blood banks offer some form of compensation for donation. The Red Cross will give a five dollar Amazon gift card to anybody who donates before February 26th.

The Blood Center of Wisconsin is holding a blood drive here on campus on Monday, February 20th, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in Ballroom B in the Student Center.

To schedule an appointment, call 877-232-4376 or visit Walk-in donations are also welcome. Free refreshments will be provided for donors.

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