On Wednesday, Nov. 2, West Chester University teamed up with the American Red Cross and held their annual blood drive at the Village Apartments on South Campus. This event gave students the opportunity to help others by donating their time and blood.
The blood drive turned out to be a major success, with over 75 students scheduled to donate. Each student involved donates approximately one pint of blood which, in exchange, helps three people. Thanks to WCU students, they are able to help over 225 patients in need.
“We really do appreciate everyone helping out; we’ve been to a lot of the dorms on-campus already and a lot of students have come out to help,” Chris Nalbone, a registered nurse and supervisor of the event, said.
The American Red Cross visits WCU quarterly. Students have the ability to call or sign up for an appointment online. It is suggested to hydrate and maintain a healthy level of iron in one’s diet before a sheduled appointment, wear comfortable clothing and relax.
Once at the blood drive, there are a few requirements for volunteers.
In Pa., donators must be at least 16 years of age or must come with parental consent. They are then asked to read over a brief brochure explaining the qualifications, the process of donating blood, and the rewards that comes with it.
Next, donators are to partake in a confidential interview where they must complete a 49 ‘yes or no’ question test, which asks questions on their health and lifestyle. Then a mini physical exam is given in order to check for their iron level, pulse, and blood pressure.
Once it is determined that the donator is healthy, they must lay flat onto a hospital bed for approximately 10 minutes and a pint of blood is taken. Once finished, refreshments are available to help rehydrate those who are feeling dizzy or light headed.
The blood is then tested at a national testing site. All donations help patients located in the Tri-State area, mostly Pa. or N.J.
A common question among donators is “What now?” After donating, you are eligible to donate again after 56 days.
Additionally, there are many volunteering opportunities within the American Red Cross blood drives. If interested in donating blood or becoming a volunteer, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Jen Mika is a fifth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalist. She can be reached at JM653231@wcupa.edu.