The American Red Cross set up in the New Balance Fitness Center Nov. 14 and 15 for the second time this semester. For the better part of Wednesday and Thursday, there was a constant flow of students and community members alike waiting their turn to give blood.
In an email from Meagan McCready, graduate assistant at The Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism and head of the Blood Drive, she reported that there were around 187 successful donations. She wrote, “around 210 individuals [signed] in. There were some issues with the Red Cross hotline which made it difficult for donors to make appointments and quite a few walk-ins who were unable to donate for one reason or another.”
McCready also wrote, “While our numbers were slightly lower than the September drive, all in all it was successful. When students and community members join together to support others, all there can be is success.”
According to the Red Cross, the need for blood is constant, and donors are always needed. However, there is a lag time between donations. According to the Red Cross website, “The plasma from your donation is replaced within about 24 hours. Red [blood] cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement. That’s why at least eight weeks are required between whole blood donations.”
Suzannah Deeves, a transfer student in her second year, talked about the reason why she gives blood. “[It] feels really good after I do it,” she said. “I like knowing I’m helping somebody.”
She’s donated blood five or six times in the past, but this was her first time giving blood here at UMaine.
Deeves mentioned that some downfalls of giving blood are how long it takes some individuals. She said that the questioning and screening that precedes the donation can take up to 45 minutes alone.
The questioning process ensures that donors are healthy and meet all requirements for giving blood. Donors must be older than 17 years of age and are required to be heavier than 110 pounds. There are other requirements, as well. If you have traveled out of the United States to a country with malaria there is a 12-month waiting period before donating blood is acceptable. All other eligibility requirements can be found on the American Red Cross website.
Nora Wormwood, a third year anthropology student, has also given blood on multiple occasions. “With the recent hurricane, there is a need for blood,” Wormwood stated.
“[Giving blood] saves three lives with one pint,” Wormwood pointed out. “Plus, it feels good afterward, it’s easy to do and you get free food.”
Wormwood also talked about having a universal blood type, O-negative, that all blood-type recipients can receive.
According to the American Red Cross website, “approximately 45 percent of Caucasians are Type O, 51 percent of African Americans and 57 percent of Hispanics are Type O. Type O is routinely in short supply and in high demand by hospitals.”
Wormwood reported that she has on numerous occasions received calls from the American Red Cross asking for blood donations. “I donate whenever I get a call. …Just the thought of saving lives [is enough to donate],” Wormwood said.