Sep 282003
 
Authors: Taylour Nelson

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.

 

 

 

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