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OSU- Cascades blood drive helps save lives

Nathaniel Kelly

The Broadside

Garret Genz, OSU-COCC student giving blood during the Civil War Blood Drive

Needle phobia is the number one phobia, possibly affecting more than 10 percent of the global population, according to the phobia release website. Students however, conquered this fear for an event to help save lives.

Oregon State University-Cascades campus conducted their annual blood drive on Nov. 9 from 11:00-4:00 p.m., inside the commons area at Cascades Hall. Needles punctured people’s skin, bags of donated blood hung from stands and many students and faculty members gave their time for a cause by donating blood and saving lives.

One reason for conducting the blood drive is many patients in hospitals and clinics worldwide rely on donated blood for bone marrow transplants and getting platelet levels back to normal.

“Every minute of every day, someone needs blood,” according to the American Red Cross website.

Central Oregon Community College conducts three blood drives: one in fall term, one in winter term and one in spring term, while OSU-Cascades conducts one blood drive a year.

Students have been donating blood on the COCC and OSU-Cascades campuses for several years and the number of students donating blood is increasing. Students are willing to donate their time to donate their own blood.

“I know that by giving blood I am able to help someone else out,” said Phil Dupal, a correspondent of the American Red Cross website. “I only wish I could give blood more often.”

Eligibility for blood donation provided by the Red Cross website
Blood donors:

1. Must be healthy and free of any diseases that may contaminate the blood sample. “If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy … means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.”

2. Must be 17 years old or 16 years old with parental consent.

3. Weigh at least 110 lbs.

4. Must not have donated blood within the last 56 days.

The blood donation process, provided by the American Red Cross website:

Step 1: Nurses will test people for a variety of diseases to make sure that people are healthy. This step is considered the pre-donation examination.

Step 2: Donating blood. “About 1 pint of blood and several small test tubes are collected from each donor,” according to the American Red Cross website. The whole process takes approximately 1 hour.

Step 3: The bag, test tubes and donor record are labeled with an identical bar code label to keep track of the donations. The donations are stored in iced coolers until it is transported to a Red Cross donation center.

Step 4: This is the start of the blood’s journey. The donated blood arrives at Red Cross’s national headquarters where it is scanned into a computer database. Then lab technologists insert the blood in centrifuges that spin the blood around. The centrifuge separates the layers of blood, which include red cells, platelets and plasma. The layers of blood are then tested for bacteria and test tubes are sent for testing for infectious diseases. If a result tests positive for a disease, the donated blood will be rejected and will be disposed of.

Step 5: The donated blood has ended its journey. The donated blood is then kept for 42 days in a refrigerator at six degrees Celsius.

Step 6: Distribution: the donated blood is on the move again where the finish line is at hospitals or clinics where someone in need of donated blood will be thankful and appreciative.
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