The need for blood, especially the “universal type,” O negative, is on the rise, said Marah Carney, junior pre-med biology major and president of the Caduceus Society. The group held their annual Fall Blood Drive last Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Last fall, we only gathered about 40-some units of blood, which isn’t a lot,” Carney said. “In the spring semester, however, we gathered closer to 80 units. So last fall, we didn’t do so hot.”
The Caduceus Society is a pre-health organization that aims to help people improve their health, Carney said. The group is made up of students who are pre-pharmacy, pre-nursing or current students studying nursing, optometry, veterinary health and dentistry. They have sponsored the blood drive on campus for about six years.
Carney said that on Tuesday, they collected 84 viable units of blood from 105 donors.
One unit of blood is collected from each person who volunteers, but Carney said there aren’t usually enough volunteers to deal with the need for blood. People who are injured in accidents, disasters or are dealing with certain illnesses require blood transfusions, which are provided by donations.
Plasma is the actual liquid in blood, and platelets are the substance which causes blood to clot. Whole blood includes both of these and red and white blood cells, so by donating whole blood, donors give all three.
Ashley Roberts, senior physical education major, said a friend “dragged” her to the blood drive, but she donated once before in high school. She said she thinks people should donate, because “it’s a great cause.”
Sadie Pile, sophomore elementary education major, donated on Tuesday and has donated nine times before. Because she donated a gallon of blood altogether, the last time she donated she received her “Gallon Card.”
“In high school my dance teacher actually needed to get blood, and so I donate, because it’s affected my life personally,” Pile said. “A lot of people don’t donate because they’re afraid of needles or they’re afraid of passing out. They don’t realize that normal people don’t pass out.”
Shae Rogers, freshman music major, has donated blood about four or five times.
“I’ve been apprehensive because I’ve had some bad experiences (donating blood), but I still want to do it,” Rogers aid. “I know a lot of people who did their first time and felt sick and they won’t do it again, but it’ll get better the second or third time. They just need to persevere.”
Rachel Harris, freshman nursing major, said she enjoys the feeling that she’s helping someone in need and encourages students to donate if they feel comfortable enough.
The next blood drive at ESU will be held during the spring semester.