The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Chatham University to Host Blood Drive

On Tuesday, November 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Chatham University, in conjunction with the Central Blood Bank, will host a Holiday Blood Drive on the third floor of the University’s Athletic and Fitness Center.

While the reasons for giving blood are well known to most, the process itself is often relatively unknown, which can intimidate first-time blood donors.  Fortunately, Chatham’s last blood drive, which occurred in September, provided an opportunity to help others learn what the process of donating blood involves.

On the day of the drive, the team from the Central Blood bank arrived early and began setting up all of their equipment in the Athletic and Fitness Center.  By 1:00 p.m. their day was well under way, and a group students sat waiting for their turn to begin the process.

One team of nurses clad in red and blue scrubs were seated at a table helping students through the registration process, while several others stood behind a tall blue curtain tending to those already giving blood.

When asked to explain the process of giving blood, Jen Kerr, a nurse for the Central Blood bank, explained that the process begins when a donor signs in at the small computer screen by the door.  She said that donors can make an appointment ahead of time, or they can sign up for a time on the day of the drive.

From there, the donor is given a medical screening (a 53 question survey) coupled with a test for temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels.  These tests determine whether or not you are eligible to donate blood, Kerr said.

The Federal Drug Administration regulates this process and sets all of the criteria, she explained. This is due to the fact that the blood is technically considered a drug, as it is given to patients as medication.

Upon passing the screening, the donor proceeds to a cot where he or she generally donates a pint of blood, depending on weight. When finished, the donor is provided with a drink and a small snack and can sit and relax for a few minutes.

From there, the blood is taken to the lab, tested for communicable diseases and then separated into its three components – red blood cells, platelets and plasma.  Each component of blood goes to a different person, Kerr said. “When you donate one unit of blood, you’re saving three lives.”

Echoing that sentiment, Rachel Reed explained her desire to give blood by saying, “not enough people do it, and a lot of people need blood for various medical reasons.”

She went on to say that blood banks have shortages, so anyone who is eligible to participate in these blood drives should definitely make the effort to do so.


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