First Time Donors According to the American Red Cross (ARC), every two seconds, at least one person in the United States needs blood. However, many people, even some of our students at Globe University-LaCrosse, are wary about giving blood.
August Manning, who is studying to become a certified medical assistant, was surprised to learn this. “There are a lot of people that won’t donate because they are afraid of feeling sick afterwards,” she said. Many people also cite a fear of needles as a reason why they don’t give blood.
August didn’t let any fear get the best of her. Not only did she volunteer to visit with donors and assist them to the snack table, she also donated blood for the first time. “Donating blood is important because there are people out there that need it. If no one donated, the person that needs it will not be able to receive it,” she concluded.
For those who are nervous, the ARC offers some tips to help deal with that fear. Their webpage states: “Focus on the lives you may be helping to save by donating blood. You will feel just a slight pinch, and it’s over in seconds. The difference you can make may last a lifetime.”
For the new or nervous donor, they also recommend knowing what to expect, donating with a friend, listening to music or reading a book.
Keep on Giving
Veteran blood donor and Globe University student Susan Lunzman pointed out the benefits to donating blood. “It makes me feel good inside when I donate blood,” she said.
Susan estimated that she has donated up to twenty gallons of blood over the years.
“You help others, and it makes you feel like you’re giving someone else life,” she noted.
By donating twenty gallons of blood, Susan has saved many lives!
A Constant Need
While Susan enjoys helping others, she was shocked to learn about the significant lack of blood donors.
The ARC estimates that less than 10 percent of the American population donates blood each year, but the need for blood is exponentially higher.
“More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.” Additionally, those donors with Type O-negative blood are in even higher demand. A person with type O-negative blood is known as a universal donor, whose blood can be transfused to a patient of any blood type.
According to the ARC website, only eight percent of the population has type O-negative blood, and it is the most frequently requested by hospitals in preparation for emergency situations.
Medical assistant student volunteers also used this event to practice their communication skills and other medical assistant duties.
One student Krystal Hanson enjoyed helping a donor read and understand the ARC’s eligibility requirements.
Another student volunteer, Tiffany Leszczynski, helped with registration, scanning donor cards and writing out name tags. “I’ve never volunteered before, so this was a fun experience to interact with others and help out,” she said. “It was a good feeling.”
Successful Blood Drive
Globe University-La Crosse was sharing that “good feeling” after learning that their blood drive totaled twenty-two donations. With the ARC’s note that a single donation can help save up to three lives, Globe students and staff were happy to learn that they had a positive impact on as many as 66 people.
Mark your calendars for the next blood drive in July, and help save lives!