Blood drive suppliess 3,000 local hospitals

By Carli Pio
November 13, 2003

Marisa Gallelli

Each year more than four million Americans need blood transfusions. On Monday, Nov. 3, about 50 members of the Cabrini community came out to help the cause and donate their blood to the American Red Cross at Cabrini’s bi-annual blood drive.

The collected blood, like most received at drives, will go to hospitals in need of blood transfusions for trauma victims, heart surgeries, organ transplants, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer, sickel-cell anemia and other diseases.

“Our goal here is always 50 units of blood,” Cabrini’s Nurse Sue Fitzgerald, said. “Our fall drive always has more deferrals, or people whose blood is turned away, because of how many people are sick.”

This fact should not, however, turn people away from trying to donate their blood. Only about five percent of the eligible population in the United States donates blood and in the Delaware Valley alone, 1,100 donors are needed daily to serve hospital patients.

“I have a rare blood type, O negative. That also happens to be universal, so that gave me an extra push to donate, besides the fact that I might possibly be saving a person’s life,” freshman donor Beth Williams said.

Saving one person’s life? Try three people’s lives. One blood donation may help as many as three hospital patients. The American Red Cross supplies blood to 3,000 hospitals across the country, providing approximately one half of the nation’s blood supply.

About 6.5 million people from community groups, companies, high schools, colleges and the military, made blood donations last year. In southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey alone, 51 percent of the donors were men; 49 percent were women; 36 percent were first time donors, and 31 percent were repeat donors, or donors that have donated at a blood drive before.

“I’ve given blood three times now, but the blood bank also calls me to get my blood because I have the rarest blood type,” freshman donor Chelsey Pernic said. “I thought the drive at Cabrini was cool, and the free cookies were great.”

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Carli Pio

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