American Red Cross surpasses goal in blood drive

By James Crowell
March 22, 2011

The blood drive held by the American Red Cross on March 21 collected 10 more pints of blood than the fall drive held on Oct. 29. --jenna bertino / staff photohrapher

The American Red Cross held a blood drive in Grace Hall on Monday, March 21, that saw a small increase in attendance over the college’s fall blood drive on Oct. 29.

According to Audrey Leavitt, senior manager of operations for the American Red Cross, the goal for this blood drive was 50 units of blood.

The Oct. 29 2010 blood drive collected 45 units of blood, falling short of their goal of 60 units.

In an email sent out to the college community, the American Red Cross reportedly collected 55 units, beating their goal of 50 units.

The American Red Cross also said they separate the whole blood donations into three blood products: platelets, plasma and red blood cells.

The March 21 drive was said to have helped save or sustain the lives of 165 area patients.

Besides usually being more healthy than adults, Leavitt said the American Red Cross likes to target high school and college-aged people because if they can get them to start donating now, “they will hopefully develop a healthy and lifelong pattern of them donating blood.”

Leavitt said she has seen and heard of many coming out and wanting to donate blood because of the disaster in Japan, however she knows there has not been a large demand for blood in that part of the world and the American Red Cross was not sending any blood there to her knowledge.

Meghan Kay, junior psychology major, said she gives blood every opportunity she has had during the past four years.

“Many don’t realize how helpful blood is,” Kay said. “Being in the military, I think that many people are not aware that blood often goes to military bases to help treat wounded soldiers, not just sick patients in hospitals.”

“I decided to give blood today because 30 seconds of my discomfort is so worth the three lives I could be saving,” Jamie Rago, senior social work and psychology major, said. “I honestly don’t see a reason why people shouldn’t donate blood. To me, there is no downside.”

According to Leavitt, many students and adults get intimidated by blood donation through what she refers to as ‘white-coat syndrome,’ referring to the white coats that doctors wear.

“Just the thought or sight of blood for some people turns them away,” Leavitt said. “Another reason may be that they had a bad experience donating blood or heard from a friend or family member that they had a bad experience donating blood.”

Susan Fitzgerald, registered nurse and director of health services, said the college has held blood drives twice a year for more than 25 years and believes none of the blood drives held at the college have had low turnouts, citing that the Red Cross has been pleased with how successful blood drives have been in the past.

“Sometimes we have fallen short of our goal, but given our campus’s size, our students do an amazing job in coming out every year to give blood,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said the stated goal for the fall blood drives is usually less than the goal for spring blood drives due to colds and illnesses, which always defers potential blood donors.

Joanne Mattoon, secretary for health services, said that Cabrini College is special because it brings the blood drive to the students, whereas at some other places the people have to seek out the blood drive.

“It is so easy to donate blood if it is right outside your dorm,” Mattoon said.

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James Crowell

Senior com major at Cabrini College. Technical Director for LOQation. On-Air personality on WYBF-FM. Past News editor for The Loquitur, 2011-12. Passion for videography, tech news & quantum mechanics. Follow me @JamesCrowellJr

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