The American Red Cross Blood Drive, back on campus

By: Molly Gase

This week, the American Red Cross Blood Drive is visiting The University of Akron campus.

The blood drive frequents the campus multiple times every year to provide students with a convenient way to donate.

Students only need to approach the registration table, located on the second floor of the Rec Center, sign in and have to provide a valid form of identification to donate. Within approximately an hour and a half, the entire process of blood donation is complete.

“You should donate to save lives,” said Brittany Itirth, a first-time donor and sophomore in the School of Nursing.

The American Red Cross holds their blood drives as a way to store blood for the many people who will enter a hospital and need it. They are constantly increasing blood stores because it is “an active rather than reactive way to maintain an adequate blood supply for America,” according to an American Red Cross fact sheet.

The atmosphere of the drive itself is a cheerful one.  Popular music plays from a radio as students are greeted with smiles and humor by the volunteers running the event.

While a goal of blood drives is to collect large stores of blood, some students who come to the drive are sometimes turned away.  This is generally because of some reason concerning the student’s eligibility to give blood on that particular day. If any student is unsure whether or not he or she is able to donate, volunteers encourage donators to show up to talk and determine eligibility.

If a student is not eligible that day, he or she may still be able to return at a later date to donate.

General requirements for donating blood include being at least 17 years of age, meeting height and weight requirements (weigh at least 110 pounds) and being in general good health.

Abby Dailey, a senior student at The University of Akron, attended the blood drive on Wednesday and stated that she is a repeat donor, giving blood at least once a year.

“It’s a good thing to help others and it’s convenient, so why not take the opportunity?” Dailey asked.

The convenient location may be one factor in attracting students to come out to the blood drive, but another is the free Chipotle gift card given to anyone who attempts to give blood.  Every card is preloaded with $6.25 and is given to the individual even if he or she was found ineligible to donate that day.

So far, 152 people showed up to registration between Monday and Tuesday. Of these, 105 people have given a donation of whole blood (platelets, plasma and red blood cells), and 21 have given double red donations (two units of red blood cells).

The total results for Wednesday are not yet known; however, the goal for the day was to have 76 whole blood and 12 double reds.  There is an urgent need for blood and the volunteers are eager to reach their goals.

“[This is] my first time giving double red, good experience,” said student Chelsea Wolpert. “I think everyone should give blood if they are eligible.”  The double red donation takes approximately a half an hour.

The blood drive is running for its final day today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center. The Red Cross will also have a donation site at the Chapel from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A new group is also forming to help advocate for the Red Cross on campus, The University of Akron American Red Cross Roo Crew, and it will meet once a month in the Student Union.  For more information, see the registration desk at the Rec Center blood drive.