Mercyhurst University hosted a blood drive with Community Blood Bank on April 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Union Great Room. A Blood Bank is a place where blood is collected and stored before it is used for transfusions. Blood banking takes place in the lab. This is to make sure that donated blood and blood products are safe before they are used.
Alyson Merryman, the Mobile Drive Coordinator of the Com-munity Blood Bank of NWPA and WNY, said that “many blood centers across America have been experiencing a blood shortage for well over 2 years now. Community Blood Bank is currently critically low on ALL blood types. It’s so important to donate blood because you never know if you or someone you love might need blood one day.”
Blood is essential to help patients survive surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries.
Donating blood can save a life, or even several lives if the blood is separated into its components of red cells, platelets and plasma which can then be used individually for patients with specific conditions. Just one person making a generous donation can make a huge impact on another’s life. Donating blood not only saves multiple lives but also gives you an opportunity to add value to your own life.
Community Blood Bank is the exclusive blood supplier to Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York. When students donated at Mercyhurst University, they also received a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card as an incentive. Donating blood is only 30 minutes out of your day to save 3 local lives. 1 unit of blood is split by red cells, white cells, etc. that saves up to 3 lives. This equates to 10 minutes of your time per life saved.
The average person can donate blood every 56 days, up to six times a year, if they meet the following criteria: in good health and feeling well, at least 16 years old and weighing a minimum of 110 pounds. Additional eligibility criteria apply, including certain medications, medical conditions, travel to certain countries and personal history. It is important to visit the Red Cross blood donation eligibility for specific eligibility information. According to the Red Cross, those that received a COVID-19 vaccine may still donate blood.
When students arrived to donate, they were given a form to fill out with their medical background. They then had a general health screening including blood pressure, iron levels, and heart rate. If the student passed the screen, they were then taken to the chair to donate. The donation itself took between 5-12 minutes. Once the donation was finished the donor could head over to the refreshment table where they were encouraged to enjoy light snacks and beverages.
The need for blood is constant. Please consider taking the time to donate blood and help make an impact by scheduling an appointment at fourhearts.org.