My Favorite Things: Donating blood on campus

By Brittany Butterfield.
Every 56 days or so, the Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC) bus comes to BCC’s campus for students to donate. The van will be parked outside the student union building. The next scheduled opportunity will be on April 16th.
Blood drives at BCC are a chance for students who want to donate and are looking for a convenient time and location. Although the bus comes to campus frequently, one can also donate at the PSBC’s Blood Center Headquarters located in Seattle throughout the year. It is a quick, easy process open to all students fitting the requirements.
If something is found wrong with the student’s blood, then it is discarded; the test result won’t say what is wrong with the blood, just that it is not acceptable. The blood donating center will then send a letter to the donator saying that they need to speak with a blood center nurse, and that it is confidential. Many times donation centers will find students and donators coming to donate blood in hopes of receiving results for an HIV test. This is not possible since the tests do not qualify for specific tests.
In order to donate one must meet the requirements of being at least 18 years of age or they can be 16 or 17 with a Blood Program Consent form signed by a legal guardian. One must also be in good health and weigh at least 110lbs, and can only donate at least 56 days after their last donation. It takes about two weeks or longer for the red blood cells, the oxygen cells, to replenish; this is why the 56 days in between is required as a precaution for the safety of the donated blood.
If you have questions regarding blood or aphaeresis donations, there is a help line you can reach at 1-800-398-7888. Or if you have questions regarding eligibility to donate and would like to talk to a blood center nurse, they are available to answer your questions at clinicalprogram@psbc.org.
You cannot get AIDS from donating blood, as many have heard. Only sterile, disposable equipment is used throughout the donation process making it nearly impossible to contract any diseases from donating.
The process consists of registration, a brief medical screening, the blood collection, and time afterwards for refreshments in the canteen. For the whole blood donation, the entire process takes about an hour, although the blood collection segment is usually about ten minutes. In preparation for donating, one should eat a full, healthy meal and drink water at least an hour before donating.
From the donation one pint of blood is collected. In general women have approximately ten pints of blood and men have 12 pints of blood.
The time is coming again sooner than you think. With the PSBC van coming right to campus it is convenient for BCC attendees. There is no obligation to ever have to donate again, or take shots, or vaccinations before hand, so come in, take the time, either in between or after classes and do something to save lives.

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