Features

Blood Donation

By: Hollis Conners

Statistics

•Type O is requested more than any other blood type.

•One car accident victim can require up to 100 pints of blood. •Each donation adds up to about one pint.

•If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood. This could potentially help save more than 1,000 lives.

•Only seven percent of those in the United States have the universal blood type, O-negative, which can be donated to anyone.

•More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood during their chemotherapy treatment.

•Sickle cell disease affects more than 70,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.

•On average there are 9.2 million donors every year from the U.S.

One pint of blood can save up to three lives

Every year, there are various opportunities for students to participate in blood drives on Xavier’s campus. However, there is always a need for more donations.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and over 41,000 donations are needed daily. Out of the 38 percent of eligible donors in the U.S., only around 10 percent actually donate. The donation process can be summarized in four basic steps. When one goes to donate blood, he or she begins by signing in and getting introduced to the process.

Donors will then have a mini physical, where they will discuss their medical history. They will also have to include information about past travel locations. The donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin levels will also be taken.

After the physical, the donor will be seated for the actual donation. The process is sterile and takes between eight and 10 minutes. If one is donating specifically platelets, plasma or red blood cells, the process may take longer.

At the end of the donation, the donor receives a snack and a beverage to allow for relaxation and replenishment of fluids and blood sugar. After 10 to 15 minutes, the donor can leave and resume normal daily activities.

The American Red Cross encourages able bodied people to donate blood. They even offer advice on their website on how to get over the fear of needles for those nervous about that aspect. There will be a blood drive Jan 21 – Jan 23 next to Bellarmine Circle.

Donating this week?

Rest

1). Get an adequate amount of sleep.

Fat

2.) Avoid fatty foods such as french fries or pizza before donating.

Water

3.) Drink at least 16 ounces of water before donating.

Food

4.) Make sure your diet consists of an adequate amount of iron.

Clothing

5.) Wear clothing where the sleeves can be pushed above the elbows.