“Will I faint?” “Will it hurt a lot?” “Will I get a disease from the needle?” These are common questions one may have before donating blood. Putting all questions and pre-notions about blood drives aside, 222 first time donors were brave enough to donate their blood to the American Red Cross already this semester. According to the American Red Cross, every two minutes someone is in dire need of blood. Last year alone, West Chester University students donated 708 pints of blood to the American Red Cross.
Each pint of blood can save three lives and with the 708 pints of blood that were donated last year, approximately 2,100 patients were given help from those pints of blood.
Why are some people so afraid to donate blood? According to Anthony Tornetta, regional communications manager for the PennJersey American Red Cross, most people are afraid it is going to hurt.
“I think it is the fear of the unknown. They think it is going to be painful when in reality, it is a little pinch and within six minutes, the process is done” Tornetta said.
“It is just like getting blood tests, painless and quick.”
Tornetta said the American Red Cross always provides resources and staff to calm donors down and to make them realize that they are already making a difference in someone else’s life.
With a few blood drives already underway in the area, the American Red Cross and its donors have already given blood to 2,124 regional hospital patients.
The American Red Cross has certain requirements for those willing to donate. First, you must be 17 years of age or older and you must weigh at least 110 pounds.
There is also a strict rule against going from one blood drive to another. The American Red Cross insists on waiting at least 56 days after your last donation.
Tornetta also advises that donors feel well and healthy on the day that they plan to donate.
“We usually want our donors to feel good about themselves, so if they have been sick or have had any illnesses prior to donating, we usually want them to wait until they are 100 percent healthy.”
Jennifer Graham, account executive for the American Red Cross, also advises students to be healthy and in decent shape when donating.
Graham is in charge of working with universities, colleges, high schools, corporations, communities and local governments to set up blood drives at their locations.
Angela Thomas is a third-year student majoring in communications. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu.