There are blood drives twice a year at SNU, and typically the student body shows their support by donating blood. This last week on Tuesday and Wednesday, there was a blood drive in the Commons and it, as usual, had a good turnout.
There are several different types of blood donations, consisting of whole blood, platelets and plasma. Whole blood consists of giving a pint of blood without anything removed so it still contains plasma, platelets and red blood cells. Whole blood is the most versatile donation because it can be separated into its separate parts or can be used as a whole. Whole blood is also used primarily for trauma patients and surgeries and takes no more than an hour.
Platelet donations take a little longer than a whole blood donation but go to cancer patients. Platelets are a vital part of the treatment of cancer, but it also helps with organ transplants. A single donation of platelets can help 3 – 4 cancer patients.
The third type is plasma donations which are also used to treat trauma patients. It takes about the same time as a platelet donation.
People donate blood for different reasons and people do not donate for other reasons. Some people are afraid of needles and blood; sometimes it is merely an inconvenient time to donate.
Sophomore Leo Caldera said that he donated because he “had never done it before. I was always kind of scared to do it, and I just thought it was about time to figure ‘what is there to be scared of?’ There are a lot of people I talked to on campus who can’t give blood because of complications, so I felt if I could, I should.”
There are so many reasons people donate, and different types of blood are more helpful than others, but there is no blood donation that is worthless. No matter what is given, whether it is whole blood or platelets, any donation helps someone and may even save a life or help cure someone of their cancer.
Sophia Daniel is a freshman who has given blood before and stated that she gives blood because she felt “it was something important I could do to help out people. Emotionally it feels good, I felt happy to be helpful.”
After giving blood there is a recovery time that depends on what kind of donation is given. For whole blood the recovery time between donations is 56 days. For platelets, it is only 7 days to recover before you can donate again. If you missed this blood drive, there will be another one next year, or there is a blood donation center close to campus on 50th and Portland. You can go to https://obi.org where you can set an appointment or just find more information.