Every three seconds, someone is in need of a blood transfusion
in the United States.
Last week, more than 200 people from CSU and the Fort Collins
community donated blood in the Lory Student Center ballrooms to
help contribute to this need.
Allison Fisher, a senior human development and family studies
major, was one of the people who donated blood for the Bonfils
Blood Center Blood Drive, held twice a semester at CSU. She decided
to donate blood because of her blood type.
“I have type O blood… so I figured if I can help out, that’s
awesome,” Fisher said.
This year, the number of blood donors exceeded the number who
donated last year, said Siri Fernelius, a senior biochemistry major
and blood drive coordinator.
“We usually only schedule 65 appointments for each day,” she
said. “The first day we had 96 appointments.”
Fernelius believes the large turn out was because the blood
drive was held at the beginning of the semester, when people are
less busy with school.
“It’s the first blood drive of the year, people are more
active,” she said. “They get busier as the semester goes on.”
Requirements for donating blood includes weighing at least 110
pounds, being at least 18 years old and in generally good health
with no history of hepatitis or HIV/AIDS.
However, there is a long list of conditions that may deter
people from donating blood. Donors go through a screening process
that includes an interview concerning their health and travel
history. People who have visited a malaria-endemic area are
deferred from donating blood for one year after visiting. Those who
have gotten a piercing or tattoo in the last year are not eligible
to donate blood either.
Once the blood has been drawn, it is sent to the Bonfils Blood
Center in Denver and screened for diseases such as HIV, syphilis
and West Nile virus, said Adelaide Naughton, community relations
specialist for Bonfils. If the blood passes these tests, it is then
sent to a medical center.
“The blood is shipped to the places within 24 hours of being
collected,” Naughton said.
A mixture of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and
platelets can be taken from whole blood. This is enough to, when
separated, potentially save the lives of three people.
“Transfusions are used in car accidents, organ transplants and
cancer therapies and we can help these people get better,” Naughton
said. “We are always looking for new donors.”
Whole blood donations can be donated every two months and up to
six times a year.
Students who are interested in donating their blood can still
donate at the Garth Englund Blood Bank, 1025 Pennock Place, in Fort
Collins by calling 495-8965.