By Jaly Marquez
Every year Fitchburg State hosts a blood drive to help the American Red Cross foundation be able to help those in need. This year the event was held at Hammond Building and more than 60 people showed up within the course of two days. The amount of blood donated by these students and professors can save up to 180 people in need. Nurse Susan Thompson stated, “It’s quite easy to donate blood, we ask a few questions and give you quick mini-physical to make sure that you’re a good fit.” Thompson has been working for the Red Cross blood drives for more than 15 years and she’s always happy to see the number of people willing to help people they may never meet.
In order to donate blood, you have to be in good overall health. The mini-physical consists of making sure that you are not sick with a common cold or flu and checking one’s blood pressure and hemoglobin count. The process of donating blood usually doesn’t take longer than 15-30 minutes and the benefits of doing so are rewarding as Nursing student, Phylicia Shippy states, “It’s important to be able to help others, I do this because I know that it’s beneficial to people and patients everywhere.”All blood types are accepted by the Red Cross but some are needed more than others. All blood is majorly important for the blood drive, you can also donate certain parts of your blood which can either be plasma, platelets, or red cells.
This year’s blood drive was a success, it lasted two days and went from Tuesday, February 5 until Wednesday, February 6. The people that donate blood usually get either a new t-shirt and there will almost always be snacks after you donate blood because it helps to replenish your body after just losing a pint of blood. This also allows you to sit and rest a while to avoid any potential dizziness you may feel. After you donate blood it is highly recommended that you drink as many fluids as you can to quicken the process of replacing your blood.
Almost 25% of all donated blood comes from college campuses and Fitchburg State University can proudly say that they are ones of those campuses that has helped this foundation save lives. Many people believe that they may not be a good match to donate but 38% of Americans are actually eligible to donate blood at any given time. Just because you have a tattoo doesn’t mean that it makes you ineligible, in fact, depending on the area of your body you got the tattoo in, it may take only a matter of weeks to make you a good match again. To find out more about whether or not you are interested in participating in the next blood drive or to find a donation center near you visit: redcrossblood.org.